Spiritual Nourishment for Spiritual Warfare

When I became, by Divine Providence, involved in an active apostolate beyond the confines of my family, I dove into studying the faith and the position of the SSPX.


Up to that point, my understanding was based on what I had learned in an SSPX school and in my own random readings.  I realized, with the challenges that I was facing, that I needed to deepen my understanding of the faith, as well as the postion of the SSPX vis-a-vis the documents of the Second Vatican Council.

My reading list since that time has included:
  • Mystici Corporis (my favorite encyclical)
  • The Catechism Explained, Spirago & Clark
  • Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma
  • Catechism of St. Pius X
  • Catechism of the Council of Trent
Some of these I have read from cover to cover, others I use extensively for studying particular questions / subjects. 

When discussing some of the spiritual issues that I was facing with a priest, he gave me some excellent advice. A paraphrase of the advice follows:
Studying does not put grace into your cup. If you continue to give to other people from your cup without replenishing it, you will end up with an empty cup. You fill your cup with by an active spiritual life.  Start with spiritual reading, when something strikes you pause, move to prayer, from prayer to medication, from meditation to contemplation. This is how you fill your cup to overflowing, only give to others from the overflow.
What I did not realize was that I was only partially armed for the spiritual warfare in which I was engaged.  In a sense I had the arms and armour, but not the strength to use them effectively.

So what have I learned?  First, studying only makes your 'cup' bigger, you understand more, but without an active spiritual life, your cup remains only partially filled - or worse empty.  When it is empty the bigger the cup, the bigger the fall.

I have attached some resources (mostly for myself).  I have found the writings of St. Alphonsus particularly nourishing as well as my long time companion: The Imitation of Christ.

Another thing to keep in mind when practicing an active apostolate: if you do not practice the virtues in doing so (patience comes to mind first and foremost) then you risk doing more harm than good.

No matter how a person attacks you, remain patient and do not take any of the assaults personally. Bear them for the honour and glory of God, and offer them for the person's conversion.

Remember:
P^3
Prayer
Penance
Patience

God Bless!!!

Resources


St. Alphonsus de Ligouri
http://www.goodcatholicbooks.org/alphonsus.html

Imitation of Christ
http://www.internt.net/equipsaints/Imitation%20of%20Christ%20-%20Thomas%20a%20Kempis%20%28edited%29.html

State or Way (Purgative, Illuminative, Unitive)
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14254a.htm

Contemplation
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04324b.htm

Prayer
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12345b.htm


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