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Introduction to the Devout Life Kindle Edition
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|Kindle Edition, 5 Sep 2012||
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He starts by showing us how to turn our simple desire to a life of devotion into an absolute resolution. Among all of us, a Bishop should set the example of perfect devotion. But its practice cannot be the solitary life of a Carthusian. Nor would that be the life for a tradesman. True devotion does no harm, but rather leads all things toward perfection. True devotion actually makes your trade take on a great beauty. To follow our path of devotion we must purify our soul via the sacrament of penance. And this must be done with fore thought, if necessary write a list. We must truly depart from sin with all our heart. We must then be diligently exercising ourselves by starting our days with spiritual exercises. Which will help place us in the presence of God and beseech him to inspire us. The remainder of the section focuses on various meditations.
Then we learn how we may unite more to Our Lord. By use of the sacraments, God comes closer to us. And by holy prayer, in which he attracts us closer to Him. And above all mental prayer is recommended which has for its object the life and passion of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Then there is a short explanation of how to perform mental prayers. We are reminded that God is everywhere, especially in our heart and spirit.
The third part is to learn to advance in the exercises of the virtues. Charity is the most important of all virtues. For with charity come all the other virtues. When we exercise virtues, we should always prefer those that are in accord with our duty, not those that we feel are most agreeable. We must exercise virtues faithfully and discreetly.
Fourth he exposes us to some of the snares of our enemy and how we might escape them, and then move forward in our life of devotion. And finally, We stop and take a break. We renew our strength and examine our advancements in our devotion to God.
This is a perfect discourse on how to live a holy life in the secular world. Perhaps even more relevant today then when it was written.
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