"Do You Still Not Understand?

"Do You Still Not Understand?
Fr. Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure, S.J.

I found this "Meditation of the Day" in February's Magnificat and I just kept reading it over and over.

Written by Fr. Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure, S.J., (died in 1657) it resonates today.  With Lent less than a week away I've already started planning what I'm going to be doing to move forward in faith.

Besides, I want to make sure those wings fit properly.  ;-)

From all this it is clear that we ourselves are our own worst enemies, and consequently that, in order to be truly spiritual, we must renounce ourselves.  In fact our own experience shows us that our want of progress results from our want of mortification.  Our flesh inclines us to seek sensual satisfaction, to provide for our wants with unnecessary solicitude, to fly hunger, cold, contempt, sickness, and afflictions; to murmer and complain when any little convenience is wanting to us.  To all these natural and sensual weaknesses we must die, for, if would live according to the spirit, we must mortify the deeds of the flesh.

Plato eloquently says that God has attached two wings to our souls, which wings are two inclinations to celestial things:  one enables our understanding to fly to the first truth, the other raises our will toward the Sovereign Goodness; and he adds that these wings are fettered and broken by the inordinate affection we have to our flesh.  The felicity of man consists in the sovereign good, that is, in true wisdom; and the greatest obstacle to the attainment of this is the burden of the body, which is subject to the illusions of the senses, and has, besides its own peculiar necessities and infirmities.  Hence, whoever desires to be truly wise and happy, must daily die more and more to the old philosophers, is inflamed with two contrary affections:  the one impels us upward, toward the sovereign beauty; the other drags us downward to corporal things.

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