[Saint Anthony Mary Claret lived in the nineteenth century, was Archbishop of Santiago Cuba, a great writer and preacher. He founded three religious orders and had the gift of prophecy and the discernment of hearts.
He wrote The Golden Key to Heaven – An Explanation of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Now is the time to rediscover this dust-covered spiritual classic. It is from this book that we will seek an answer to the question posed above. Be prepared for a challenging and soul searching ride.]
|(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)|
A physician comes to him in this condition. After examining him the physician says, 'The sickness is very dangerous, but if the patient will make use of the medications I will prescribe, he can still recover his health.'
Now this is just what the sick man does not like. 'With all my heart I want to recover,' he says, 'but do not oblige me to take medications; for by no means can I nor will I take them. Now tell me, does this sick man have a true desire to get well?
From this man who is sick in his body, let us pass on the house of someone sick in his soul. See a person stretched out, as it were, in the abandoned throes of habitual lukewarmness. He is told that his ailment can still be remedied, that it requires no more than that he resolve to make his prayers with fervor, that he conduct himself in a spirit of love and with the pure intention of pleasing God, that he walk in God’s presence, uniting himself to Him frequently by means of holy affection, that he zealously mortify himself, that every day he offer God this sacrifice, which is so acceptable to Him; that by doing this, the road that leads to sanctity is still open to him.
But oh! This is just what the man does not want. 'With all my heart I want to gain perfection,' he says, 'but to put these means of reaching it into practice is something too hard and difficult for me.'
Now tell me, does this soul have a serious will to attain perfection?”
[An Act of Repentance]…Have still a little patience with me, O Jesus! With all my heart I detest and hate all my negligence, and the abuse I have made of all the graces and means which in Thy kindness Thou hast given me. Until now I have spent my life without having any care for the glory of Thy Holy Name, or for the salvation of my soul. Thou, by a feat of Thy Mercy, have this day enlightened me to know my sinfulness. Again, I detest it, I hate it, and I earnestly resolve to endeavor henceforth to be upright and perfect, as Thou are asking me to be…
(To be continued…)