Thursday, December 26, 2013

Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange Describes the Great Aids to the Spiritual Life

The same rule holds true as in the matter of salvation, which is possible to all who possess a developed conscience, even to those not born in a Christian environment, who are strongly inclined to evil, and who have not had an opportunity to hear the Gospel preached. If they ordinarily follow the dictates of their conscience, they will be mysteriously led from grace to grace, from fidelity to fidelity, to eternal life.

Anyone who wishes to advance in the spiritual life and to prepare himself for the grace of contemplation must, to the best of his ability, use the great means which the Church gives us all. The assiduous reception of the sacraments, daily hearing of mass, frequent communion, love of the Eucharist, devotion to the Holy Ghost, filial and incessant recourse to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Blessed Virgin, mediatrix of all graces, are evidently necessary. [...]

Another great means to prepare for the grace of contemplation, a means within the reach of all interior souls, is found in the liturgy, in an ever more intimate union with the great prayer of the Church. "The graces of prayer and of the mystical state have their type and source in the hieratic life of the Church; they reflect in the members the likeness of Christ which is perfect in the body." Liturgical prayer recited with recollection, in union with our Lord and His mystical body, obtains for us holy lights and inspirations which illumine and inflame our hearts. Consequently it is advisable to make mental prayer after the psalmody which prepares us for it; just as after mass and holy communion, it is well to prolong our thanksgiving, and if possible devote an hour to it.

Lastly, the frequent reading of Scripture and the study of sacred doctrine, undertaken in a truly supernatural manner, are other excellent means to prepare the soul for contemplation. [...]


Source: Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, Christian Perfection and Contemplation, trans. M. Timothea Doyle (Rockford, IL: TAN Books, 2003), 386-387.

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