1.One must desire it; 2. urge one another on to it; 3. faithful to the pious exercises that bring us to it; 4. hunger for it; on this hangs all our progress, without that nothing; 5. nothing comes by forcing the heart: reply of St. Thomas Aquinas to his sister; 6. when one desires it one applies oneself with ardour to acquiring what one desires; 7. God fills with graces, says St. Ambrose, esurientes, etc.; quia satiavit animam inanem, animam esurientem satiavit bonis [Ps. 106:9 – “For he hath satisfied the empty soul, the soul of the hungry soul with good things]. Daniel vir desiderio rum [Dan. 10:11 –“Daniel, Beloved”]. Wisdom sits at the door for those who seek her.” (Notes from Eugene de Mazenod’s annual retreat – Perfection – 169: XV in Oblate Writings)
Frank Santucci, OMI wrote about “perfection” and what it meant to Eugene in his June 16, 2012 blog: “Aiming for perfection meant aiming at being more cooperative with God’s actions. Awareness of personal imperfection allowed God to work at making him more perfect.”
Here Eugene has listed ways of being that will allow him to move towards perfection, towards becoming saints. He uses scripture and the lives of other saints to aid him in this way of being. At first reading and reflecting I am concerned for I have never made such a list and then followed it perfectly. But in sitting and reflecting for a while I begin to see what these qualities, these ways of being look like in my life. I recognize where there are strengths and weaknesses.
It dawns on me again that it is in the small and the ordinary of each day that God comes, and lifts me up so that I might become a cooperator of Jesus my Saviour. God himself fills me with desire and that is the beginning. The following steps seem to fall into place, some stronger than others but all of them a part of my being. This road to perfection is filled with little imperfections, it is not lived out perfectly, nor in big ways. It is though a base that I move out from and return to. On second thought this is not a list at all, simply a way of being.
I like that line the road to perfection is filled with small steps and many imperfections. So it begins.
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