Spiritual Guidance Lesson 4 to help spiritually guide the layman.
By the late Father Kilian McGowan, C.P. Used with permission to help spiritually guide the layman.
If you're perfectly content with the state of your spiritual progress, then stop reading. If you have a healthy discontent with your spiritual life, then read about a resolution that will cause a spiritual revolution in your life.
Each new day reminds us not only of the fleeting nature of time, but also that we have precious little with which to purchase our eternity.
Here's a resolution that's a real challenge to any day or year! Our Blessed Lord said: "If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me." (Matthew 16:24). Apply this one sentence to your daily life for one year, and you won't recognize yourself at its close.
To follow Christ means first of all, to make Him the chief study of your life. It calls for meditation and study of His words.
It means the intention to live of His life by prayer and the sacraments. It will lead to the mirroring of Him in your daily life. It is the wholehearted living of the commitment you made to Christ on the day of your Baptism. Actually, it means that
you intend to substitute Christ for yourself in your daily life.
Undoubtedly, every Christian wants to walk with Christ, but not everyone is willing to pay the price. The determination to follow
Him must be a more than half-hearted hope or a weak-kneed wish. It must be a truly effective resolution that doesn't count the
cost implied in the perfect following of our Blessed Lord.
Immediately after inviting us to follow Him our Blessed Savior adds: "Let him deny himself." Living for God calls for a denying
The quest for the perfect love of God implies an unselfish dedication to the love and interest of God. Christ didn't ask us
to give up something but rather someone-and that someone is ourselves! If we sacrifice all our selfish desires, there is no
need for any further mortification to become a saint.
We deny ourselves first by our daily struggle against mortal sin. Simply to stay alive in Christ involves an undramatic but very real kind of daily martyrdom. Previous sinfulness must be atoned for, and future possible sin must be avoided, but the real struggle is in the present hour.
Nor do we have to go far from ourselves to find the cross that our Lord tells us we must take up daily. Each of us has our cross built within the framework of our own human nature. Indeed, the greatest cross of many of us is simply the putting up with ourselves! The refined selfishness that is part and parcel of our personality can be cured only by the Cross of Christ.
Start off by taking yourself just as you are. Then be determined to do your best with the materials on hand. You have the blueprint in the life of our Lord. You have the guidance and inspiration of His words and His representatives. You can contact
Him and His life through prayer and the sacraments. And you have the reassurance that you don't have to walk alone, for this
Constant Companion not only shares your life, but has a healing compassion and a divine insight into your slightest needs.
What do you need to bring Christ more perfectly into your life during this year-and consequently more perfectly into the world
that needs Him so badly? Only one thing-to will it! You need, in short, a firm resolution. One that will cause a spiritual revolution in your life. It's the only one that can save the world and yourself!
Just the words "spiritual revolution" set me on fire! We hope it did the same for you!!
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May God bless you abundantly! I send my love and prayers! Wendy C.
The Cukierski Family - Healing Mind, Body & Soul!
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