Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mortification

Terry Nelson reflects upon self-denial and mortification. He quotes from Tanquerey's The Spiritual Life:
Mortification may be defined a the struggle against our evil inclinations in order to subject them to the will and to the will of God. It is not so much a virtue as an ensemble of virtues - the first degree of all the virtues - which consists in overcoming the obstacles that stand in the way so as to restore our faculties their lost balance and reestablish among them their right order. Thus it is easily seen that mortification is not an end in itself but a means to an end... the end of mortification is union with God.
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There is a kind of mortification which is necessary for salvation in this sense, that if we fail to practice it, we run the risk of falling into mortal sin.
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The threefold concupiscence that remains with us, spurred on by the world and the devil, often inclines us to evil and endangers our salvation, unless we take heed to mortify it. - Tanquerey, Spiritual Life: Part II, Chapter III, 754 - 755
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These are not simply pious thoughts, indeed, "If we desire true happiness on earth there is no better way than to cultivate piety (godliness) which as St. Paul says, 'is profitable to all things, having promise of life that now is and of that which is to come.' ( Tim. IV: 8) Peace of soul, the joy of a good conscience, the happiness of union with God, of growing in his love, of effecting a closer intimacy with Christ, such are a few of the rewards which, along with the comforting hope of life eternal, God dispenses even now to his faithful servants in the midst of their trials. - Spiritual Life: Part I, Chapter IV, 364

2 comments:

carmelitemom said...

(Sorry Elena...I left my previous comment under the wrong post)
Very good post. St. Teresa of Jesus said that conforming our will to the will of another, if done correctly, will be the hardest thing we will ever have to do. In this case, adhering our will to the will of God...truly the greatest of mortifications.

elena maria vidal said...

It really, truly is, Theresa. I was always told that the greatest mortifications are those sent by God, those which we do not choose ourselves.

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