“Death induces the sensual person to say: Let us eat and drink, because tomorrow we shall die – but this is sensuality’s cowardly lust for life, that contemptible order of things where one lives in order to eat and drink instead of eating and drinking in order to live.”
– Søren Kierkegaard
“Quo Vadis? Where am I going? Why am I here? How do I gain Eternal Life?”
Do you ask yourself these sorts of questions every day and answer them in all your thoughts, words, deeds, and omissions. Because as finite beings we only have one chance to die… one chance to choose Life. See to it that after every action of will, if you were to die that very instance, you would not be swallowed by the eternal darkness but rather embraced by the Fire of the Holy Spirit.
We are dirt and to dirt we shall return. Nothing good is of man. Man and all his talents and abilities is nothing, not only compared to God, but is plainly nothing compared to nothing. Man has nothing. Man is nothing.
And so what of your talents? They are gifts from God, gifts that you have borrowed and are on loan because at any moment nature (or God) could take your intellect, your athleticism, your musical ability away and God might allow it! Well what if, you ask, I use these gifts for God or to praise God will I not get credit for that as being good from me? No! That is like giving credit to yourself for using your mouth and hands to eat food instead of dirt. God gave you an appetite for sustenance of food and of spirit. However, by not praying and fasting and offerings all things to God you are doing something worse than eating dirt instead of food. Eat and drink for life on earth, prayer and fast for life everlasting. It is the only way your appetite will be calmed and it is what you are supposed to do such! There is no pride in that. There should never be any pride. You, me, we are nothing. Your talents are given to you by God as tools so that you may spiritually eat, exercise, and fight, just as there is a physical counterpart to each of these things. However, no one would think of themselves as being heroes just because they ate some food, instead of dirt. So, do not think you do any good just because you do not sin or do pray. In that you are just doing what you are supposed to do.
Next, learn to pull over to the side of the road; get out of the drivers seat; walk to the bumper; peel off the “God is my co-pilot” sticker; get in the passengers seat and hand God the keys. Let God drive. Trust me, we only have one chance to die, one chance to choose life. We only have one chance to choose the narrow path of following Christ, so let God drive… After all, He is the Way. Because you want to make sure you live as if you were to die this moment. You want to be assured you would not go to the eternal darkness but into the fire of the Holy Spirit. This journey of faith is life lasting and ever growing… Must be ever growing.
Let God drive, and speak with Him. Be a man of prayer. A man who talks to God. And be not afraid to ask Him for anything. True love is a fire that gives light and heat, but does not consume or destroy. This is God’s Love.
Remember this love, when you face the wrath of your peers when you deny what is cool… remember this love when you face the disappointment and pain you have with yourself, remember this love when imagining your Father’s pain.
Third. Holy Purity! The brightest jewel in Mary’s crown may very well be Holy Purity. Life began with God and the creation of Adam and Eve. Conception is the continuation of life, the fulfilling of the potential for the start of more life. I know purity of mind and body and heart is difficult. We must never be disheartened by our loses in this battle, but learn from them. Learn not to trust ourselves with temptations, for we are so so weak. You have to ask God for help.
Remaining pure, is another battle with pride. Remember. We are nothing. You must ask God for help, for perseverance! Not consolation. But thank God when He gives you both. ( side note: exercise by running or lifting weights for 15 minutes a day to stay pure)
Fourth. Weapons for the Spiritual Battle.
I want to touch on number 2 of “Proper use of Body & Mind”. Many times in life I heard myself say “it isn’t a sin” or “it isn’t against God” to create some sort of license for an action that is questionable. I am guessing you might have thought similar things as everyone almost does. Do not perform these actions. Do not waste your breath on these “indifferent” things. Never do anything that is not for Christ. Never be against Him, or indifferent to Him. By performing these lukewarm activities we, ourselves, become lukewarm… And God will spit us out.
Be a man of prayer with a Eucharistic soul. God wants you to trust Him, to have faith in Him. The Eucharist is the mystery of faith. Christ has instituted the Eucharist, not only so that we can be close to Him, but also so that He may be close to us. Just as you can’t be in front of an xray for ten minutes without its radiation influencing you… You cannot be in front of the Eucharist for ten minutes without its radiating glory penetrating your mind, body, heart, and soul.
Jesus prayed. You must be a man of prayer. Christ is the tower of strength, but only after He prays. Remember Him in the garden of Eden, a bloody and sweaty mess. Asking His Father to pass the cup of suffering and to find another way. But the Father said that there was no other way. So Christ prayed. And he became a tower of strength. Emerging from the garden when the guards came to take Him, our Lord, away. Christ goes forward, a pillar of strength, and asks “whom do you seek?” They answer, “Jesus of Nazareth” and He says “I am, He” and scripture tell us “As soon therefore as he had said to them: I am he; they went backward and fell to the ground.” ( John 18:6) Christ is a pillar of strength so strong, men fall by His word. This is the power of prayer, the power of God. Be a man of prayer.
And pray this :
“Father, may I see through Your eyes.”
This way you will see yourself and truly where you need to improve. “Father, let me see through your eyes.”
Now dear reader, I am not writing you this because I think I am some pious genius. I am writing you this as a sinner and sometime a hypocrite. I need your help as well, keep me in check. Make sure I am taking my medicine. I will try to do the same for you.
Anyways, I want to also suggest some reading and exercises. “The Way” by St. Josemaria Escriva. Read five meditations a day around noon, or more if you can. When you wake up spend 15 minutes within the first two hours of waking speaking with God. Prayer is not a monologue, but a dialogue. Ask to see through your Fathers eyes and let Him know if you do not know what to say. Pray “Lord I know You are with me, that you hear me, that you see me. That you listen to me, that you watch me. Lord, even though I cannot see or hear You. I know you are here.” Dwell on this for 15 minutes, time can fly. Also set reminders for yourself throughout the day using some application on your smartphone or computer. Have them say something like “You are not perfect” followed 5 minutes later with “But you are a beloved child of God.”
These reminders along with reminders for morning and night prayer will keep you on track. Also give yourself an examination of conscience every night. Do not skip this! Night is so close to the time of sin. Complete the day with prayer, then offer your sleep as a prayer for your family and friends.
Now, I know you know why you are here and where you are going. The next hardest thing is perseverance. Keep moving forward. The only way to do this is through Love, with Love. Laziness is the first battle we all encounter. We must win this battle on the side of Christ every time if we wish to be sanctified.
FOR ANY DISCUSSION TOPICS THAT MAY COME TO MIND, PLEASE DIRECT SUCH TO THE FORUM AT: