06 December 2007

Attending to Salvation

“It is better for a man to be obscure and to attend to his salvation than to neglect it and work miracles.” ~Thomas a’ Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

It seems like the Holy Spirit has been trying to drive this point home with me and I share it here since it may benefit others, especially among Charismatics. We believe in miracles, but are we attending to the miracle of our own sanctification?

"In truth it is a greater miracle to root out from one’s own flesh the incentives to wantonness than to cast out unclean spirits from the bodies of others, and it is a grander sign to restrain the fierce passions of anger by the virtue of patience than to command the powers of the air, and it is a greater thing to have shut out the devouring pangs of gloominess from one’s own heart than to have expelled the sickness of another and the fever of his body. Finally it is in many ways a grander virtue and a more splendid achievement to cure the weaknesses’ of one’s own soul than those of the body of another. For just as the soul is higher than the flesh, so is its salvation of more importance, and as its nature is more precious and excellent, so is its destruction more grievous and dangerous." ~St. John Cassian, Second Conference of Abbot Nesteros, Chapter 8

Our Lord would retreat to pray and prepare before he faced the crowd. If the God-man needed such time, how much more do we feeble sons of Adam and daughters of Eve need to prepare before praying for the healing and deliverance of others?

Damian Stayne, the founder of Cor et Lumen Christi and the initiator of worldwide “charism schools”, to train Catholics in the use of the gifts of healing and prophecy says that, “I had to spend time in real repentance and go to confession. I felt strongly the need to be right with God for him to use me, as sin can get in the way to hearing God and moving in the anointing.”
Even in the greatest hurry of business in the kitchen, Brother Lawrence (The Practice of the Presence of God) preserved his recollection and heavenly-mindedness. Work out your salvation through prayer, confession, and purity of heart--this also sets us free to experience the presence of the Holy Spirit. Thus equipped, let us listen for the Spirit and see what miracles happen to us and through us.

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