Thursday, November 20, 2008

Week of St John of the Cross

Vain cares and necessary solicitudes

The third cause of distractions is, first, unnecessary cares and desires. The distractions that come from this source are much more grievous than those caused by vain thoughts; these have their origin in the mind, and affects less the will; but cares take hold of the heart, draw away the will and entirely divert its attention from God. The soul that allows herself to be drawn away by temporal cares, endures the sufferings of a rude slavery. The pains and anguish of this soul increase in direct proportion to the disorderly desires which she seeks to satisfy. He who possesses the science of renouncement, is safe from solicitudes at the hour of prayer, as well as when not engaged in this holy exercise; without loss of time he gathers with great ease abundant spiritual riches. He who is ignorant of this sublime science, exhausts himself by useless efforts to escape from the net in which he is held captive, and in spite of all his care, can scarcely turn away his thoughts from the sad object of his affections for an instant. If the spiritual man perceives that these vain cares are springing up in his heart, he ought at once to suppress this first movement and reflect that his whole endeavor must be to love God above all things, and to renounce himself.

more to come...