Monday, November 25, 2013

Certain Demons only with Fasting and Prayer

Pope Saint Gregory the Great. 
Saint Benedict: The Life of Our Most Holy Father Saint Benedict 
(A Catholic Classic!) (2009-11-15). ignacio hills press (TM) and e-Pulp Adventures (TM). 
Kindle Edition. 

"But when he saw there many through the uneven paths of vice run headlong to their own ruin, he drew back his foot, but new-set in the world, lest, in the search of human knowledge, he might also fall into the same dangerous precipice. Contemning therefore learning and studies and abandoning his father’s house and goods, he desired only to please God in a virtuous life. Therefore he departed skilfully ignorant and wisely unlearned." [Kindle Locations 75-78]

Pope St. Gregory the Great is speaking of St. Benedict still a boy in the care of his nurse, leaving the world behind: "... skilfully ignorant and wisely unlearned." If you know and love St. Benedict, spend 99 cents and relish this gem!

Besides confirming me once again in the conviction concerning the nature of vocation, that God calls us from our mother's womb, reading Pope Gregory on Benedict was a great nudge today to assume the heroic quest for virtue through personal penance. We are too much at our ease, at least I am. With no intention of putting myself at odds with Pope Francis, I am taking my distance from popular notions of "engagement" as the strategy for our supposedly different times. Reading Gregory's account of the life and works of St. Benedict makes it all too clear to me that Benedict's heroic absorption with prayer and penance are what rendered him and his brethren victorious over Satan, bringing the light of Christ to a world still in the grips of the devil despite five centuries having passed since Christ's victory upon the Cross.

"I may well say, therefore, that his holy man lived with himself, because he never turned the eye of his soul from himself, but standing always on his guard with great circumspection, he kept himself continually in the all-seeing eye of his Creator." [Kindle Locations 163-165]

The enthusiasm of unreflective youth needs to be confronted with the purpose of our great fathers Benedict and Gregory. The authority they exercised was Christ's; the wonders they worked were from His Hand.


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