From the Depths of Despair to Sublime Subsistence

Our last post considered the wretched existence of our poor souls and our complete reliance on the benevolence and Goodness of Christ. I would like now to consider how this Divine Help is experienced during life and their salutary effects on the soul.

As Catholics, we have been given grace upon grace and yet we may be unaware of the majesty of these gifts and the mystical effects these graces supply to the soul. As a Catholic we were given the Sacraments of Initiation; Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist. The grace that we receive from these gifts is given ex opere operato, by the very fact of being administered. These gifts are essential to our spiritual life. Without them we would continue our lives in complete despair, knowing that we, by ourselves, and in our present state cannot cure ourselves and moreover have no right to expect or warrant being healed by salvific grace; what we would call sanctifying grace. Without sanctifying grace, God will not recognize you; for it is the presence of His Son dwelling in your soul that gives you the ability, the dignity and the right to salvation. Your dignity resides wholly in Christ as long as Christ resides in you. His presence is essential for your spiritual life as well as your eternal life.

Our sacraments of healing are Christ’s gifts freely given to all who wish to abide in the Church, His Mystical Body. These sacraments, Reconciliation or Penance and the Anointing of the Sick, are meant to restore us to the state which we previously attained, after failing our Lord and our Church by sin; thereby falling, as it were, from a state of grace. Now the beautiful aspect of what was commonly called Confession is that we are expected to make an inspection of our lives on a regular basis. We are to examine how we have failed our commitment to live a life of virtue, whether by a committed act or by an omission of an act that we should have performed. This in and of itself is the constant inspection we are called to make while training our wills to be completely submissive to the Will of God.

Examination of Conscience is a valuable tool left us by the Church and can be utilized in a more effective way by the spiritual aspirant than most Catholics ever dreamt. For the ardent spiritual aspirant, being actively engaged in ridding themselves of sin and gaining the habits of virtue, can utilize the practice of the examination to great benefit. Often they determine their predominant fault and work on eradicating it by working valiantly on obtaining the very virtue that is opposed to the fault which continuously causes them to fail. This is called particular examen and is a method of catching oneself at the moment of committing the fault and making note of it immediately. Over time, a continuous examen, will allow the pilgrim soul to free itself from the attacks of evil and advance in the spiritual way.

Most valuable of all, for our strength in the climb to perfection, is the frequent reception of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He is our spiritual food and drink for the journey; supplying us with all the graces needed. After all He is the Grace: the Gift that is freely given to the soul that supplies all our needs.  He remains in residence within our souls until we break with Him through sin. His Holiness will not allow Him to be present in a soul stained with serious sin. Therefore it is of the highest priority that one keep his soul pure; treating the soul as we would the Holy of Holies, free from the stain of sin and a welcoming home for Christ Himself.

Though we will fail from time to time, Christ is always eager to return to the soul at the next Eucharist to dwell within us should we but make the necessary amends in Confession for our mortal sins or by reconfirming our wills to eradicate our un-Confessed venial sins. Such is the forgiveness of a loving Father that will not abandon His children if they but turn back to Him. The Church and Her Sacraments allows the spiritual aspirant to prosper and advance in the spiritual life and are indispensable to anyone who truly is looking to climb from despair to a sublime subsistence in and with Christ Himself.

29 Replies to “From the Depths of Despair to Sublime Subsistence”

  1. JessicaHof

    Thank you for this helpful post. I must read more about Grace, as for me, at the moment, it all seems one. I can never attribute my Christianity to anything except the Grace of baptism. That is what, I am sure, has led me to Christ, and what has infused me with a love to know Him and to find Him.

    Reply
    • servusfidelis Post author

      You’re welcome and thank you. From what I’ve read from some of your comments at other blogs and your own blog, I ask myself the question: Why are you delaying your entrance into the Catholic Church? You sound more Catholic than most Catholics I’ve met. 🙂

      Reply
        • servusfidelis Post author

          That’s very sad but what a grace it would be to break into that liberal parish (they can’t thwart you) and fight the battles from within the Church with the consumate grace that you will obtain. Better to be in the “Battle Royale” than watching it from a safe distance. No sins of ommission allowed. No excuses. 🙂

          Reply
          • JessicaHof

            They can’t, of course, but they have made it plain enough that life would be rather miserable for me. I fear I lack the spirit for a fight with people who are life-long Catholics. It would seem wrong to me to go into their church and tell them what I think they are doing wrong.

            Reply
            • servusfidelis Post author

              I wouldn’t suggest that you battle them. That was a mistake I made when I converted. It doesn’t work anyhow. The apostates are not our real enemy anyway. We fight against the principalities and powers that are always at work and have perverted their faith. You simply live out and act out the True Faith and set the proper example of a Catholic life well lived. This and becoming a prayer warrior would aid the fight against the heresies and apostasies: which you already are doing from your blogging. Only now you will have heavenly help. We will never eradicate it but we help the Church survive. Where would we be if we didn’t have our St. Athanasius or St. Catherine of Siena? In the end Christ always alows the Church to persevere and hold to Her teachings. A crown awaits all who assist in the fight. God bless you and the spiritual struggles you face: but you are not alone in the struggle. 🙂

              Reply
  2. Mr. V.

    “The only cure for sagging of faith is Communion. Though always Itself, perfect and complete and inviolate, the Blessed Sacrament does not always operate completely and once for all in any of us. Like the Act of Faith, it must be continuous and grow by exercise. Frequency is of the highest efect.”

    And:

    “Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament…. There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves upon earth, and more than that: Death: by the divine paradox, that which ends life, and demands the surrender of all, and yet by the taste (or foretaste) of which alone can what you seek in your earthly relationships (love, faithfulness, joy) be maintained, or take on that complexion of reality, of eternal endurance, which every man’s heart desires….”

    Both those quotes are from J.R.R. Tolkien. Reading your post today brought both those statements from his letters to mind. We often today forget the importance of the Eucharist, and through the repetition of years, many of us forget its power and majesty and importance. We need to have reminders from time to time of the power and awesomeness of God’s grace and the Sacraments He has given us.

    Thanks for writing this post!

    Reply
  3. Mr. V.

    On a different topic:

    Is Rome Tome doing alright? I noticed several days ago he had deleted his blog. Hopefully nothing bad is going on in his life.

    Reply
  4. Mr. V.

    On a different topic:

    Is Rome Tome doing alright? I noticed several days ago he had deleted his blog. Hopefully nothing bad is going on in his life.

    Reply
  5. The Catholic Nomad: Reclaiming the Sacred

    So true. I love the way you think and I hope you will not come to a point where you have said all you feel you can and the close up shop (as you had mentioned in the past). It is good to have others like you out there in the blogging world.

    Now I wish Jessica would just join the fight. I do not think she is as much as a church mouse as she says. She is smart!

    Reply
    • servusfidelis Post author

      I know. We need people like Jessica in there fighting the good fight. I tried, but everything is in God’s good time. Keep praying that the obstacles are removed or that she be given the courage of St. Michael. 🙂

      Reply
    • servusfidelis Post author

      I’m a very selfish man. I’m praying for you too. Do you have any idea how much I would love to have a Carmelite nun praying for me? Not that I wouldn’t miss the Catholic Nomad blog, don’t get me wrong. But I’d be mad if you didn’t send up a few prayers for me if you did go back to Nebraska. Either way I’ll be happy. I always enjoy hearing from you. 🙂

      Reply
      • The Catholic Nomad: Reclaiming the Sacred

        Oh wow, thank you. I would love to be a nun…I think that is partly why I am so obsessed with finding these places…the longing for that full religious life is so strong in me, and I feel a little of that in the ER parishes in some way. It is so beyond me though. I will pray for you though, and I do have a connection to a few Carmelite nuns, so I will put in a word for you the next time I write. 🙂

        Reply

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