willbulow's picture

"That a man shall not take ensample at the bodily ascension of Christ, for to strain his imagination upwards bodily in the time of prayer: and that time, place, and body, these three should be forgotten in all ghostly working."

This is the third chapter whose "title" warns us not to think in terms of physical direction in the performance of this work. As in the previous chapters, so here, we can find other things that could as well be taken as the topic. One I find in this case is, he mentions that there is more like a change than a local movement in this work. There seems to be a certain change of consciousness that's almost automatic, almost by definition the result of forgetting time, place, and body. Maybe here again, though, we should guard against thinking that this is the purpose. There should be no other purpose than drawing closer to God as we work in this exercise.

jg3's picture

About God and Society


soko007 asked: I understand that we need to put God above all else but it seems like a further goal when you are a part of society. I have seen and heard of numerous monks and nuns that lead a simple life in society. A monastery is part of society, though it appears that monks and nuns are not part of society, they do take part. Wherever you go, as a human being you must always be a member of society, even if you are a member of society that elects to not be a part of society!

This is indeed a very interesting comment. Please allow me to post an insightful reflection by Fr. Steve Tynan that relates to the subject:

QUOTE: When it comes to putting God first in our lives, we have to be ready for the fact that this may set us apart from the rest of society. The world is hurrying along the path of damnation while we are struggling to maintain our commitment to the path of salvation. This may sound a little harsh or even alarming in terms of being judgmental concerning the state of the world. However, to say anything less would be to not speak the truth. It would be a disservice to those who do not have faith in Christ to tell them that they are okay when they are not. The truth of the matter is that eternal life comes through faith in Jesus Christ and no other way.
Jesus tells His disciples that they will weep and wail, or lament their situation in life precisely because they know the truth and are responding to it with repentance and a life of service to the Gospel. The challenge in all of this is to realize that addressing the issue of sin now is a positive thing and it prepares us well for Judgment Day. Those who continue to live their lives in apparent or decided ignorance of the demands of the Gospel will be in for a very rude shock. I cannot believe that people really think that they have nothing to answer for in their lives. They must know that they are sinners and need to repent. It would be a very deluded person who does not know or accept this fact.
The saints realized the wisdom of repentance and saw every act of penance done here on earth as a worthwhile step towards the goal of eternal life. If it is good enough for the saints, it ought to be good enough for us. The teachings of the saints also speak about how every act of suffering here on earth is an opportunity for us to confront our sins and let the Holy Spirit deal with them by joining our suffering to that of Jesus on the cross. In this way, we begin the process of purging both sin and the effects of sin from our lives here and now, and we do not leave it all for after our death. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL UNQUOTE