13 Ways To Spiritually Improve The Day
By: Eric Gajewski
Many say they want to be Saints but so few by action ever do. The great athlete does not become the best at his craft without first putting together a “game plan” as to how to achieve his goals. It should be every Christian’s goal to avoid not only hell but Purgatory altogether. Yes, we are all sinners but we should not become so dejected that we no longer try. If we truly love Christ we should arise each day and “do” for Him not for our mother or father or neighbor. We must now bow to human respect but rather center our heart’s movements upon Charity allowing the Blessed Virgin Mary to be the “gatekeeper” (if you will) of our hearts. Let us look at some ways we can continue to advance in the spiritual life so that we may one day fly as eagles wingless (Faith & Hope not needed in heaven) in His Presence. Here are 13 practical ways an eagle can spiritually improve his or her day.
Start the day off right. Preparation. Be committed to staying inward. Be resolute in your advancement toward the Sacred Heart of Christ. Keep death in sight for we do not know as pilgrims when our last breath will be. Keep in the forefront of your mind God’s utter detest for sin and keep from even the slightest offenses. Pray for holy priests, prelates, the Pope and souls in Purgatory. Pray for clarity in regards to God’s Will for your life. Look for the “signs” He leaves as answers that we often overlook or miss altogether. Remember O' eagles the Saints never had a “way” they only sought after His way in all things. Be intent, follow through and edify. Be prepared to try and bring out the best in others.
Examination of Conscience. Review. For the beginner three times a day examine thy conscience. Once late morning, once late afternoon and once shortly before bed. Recall those sins you keep falling into so that you can avoid them. It is one thing to first recognize the fault it is another thing to root that fault out altogether. The man who will constantly keep guard after his heart and stay inward in dialogue will “stay ahead” (generally speaking) of his actions. Yet, we are all sinner’s are we not? The man who stays on the surface constantly in dialogue with creatures are far more liable to gossip, tell bearing and sin in general.
Disposition of Thanksgiving. In your prayer life rather than jump to what “I” would like, have you ever considered what God would like from you this day? Always start off in prayer by giving thanks to the God who truly wants what is best for us. Why is it then we continue to want what we know we ought not have? The disease of “me” must be rooted out of the heart, therefore, our disposition in prayer must be firmly entrenched in this spirit of thanksgiving. Ask for the grace to see what He sees. Do not be bitter, do not grumble and gripe. Do not become complacent but acknowledge often the manifold benefits of the true and living God. Humble people are thankful people.
Silence and Solitude. Spend an hour a day away. Yes, even you married couples as well (work it out). Take that time out and visit our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Take that hour to pour out your heart to him via a scenic walk in nature. You cannot hear God if you are constantly talking on the surface with man. How do you expect to hear from God and hear wilst engaged with man at the same time? Restless souls do not like to be alone for they seek to avoid this dark within and yet every man must face the truth about his soul sooner or later. A man will first find silence and solitude to be dry but as a man advances in the spiritual life He truly runs to find these two brothers. Find your own (exile) Island like the eagle of Patmos, John the Apostle did.
Journal. It is important to notice trends in your own interior life. It is important to see visibly those things which need to be rooted out and corrected. It is very helpful to see the words in which you write which often tell the story of the heart. Where your heart is there also is thy treasure. It can be very therapeutic especially in the early stages of the purgative phase of the interior life. Document your trials and tribulations it is helpful at times to go back and review.
Spiritual Reading. This is imperative for your salvation. Without the proper norm of Faith it is impossible to please God how thence can you get into heaven? By good looks? By being the coolest? By winning the world’s awards? Certainly not, therefore, know your Catholic Faith (not Vatican II gospel of man) and not the modernist new faith of the Conciliar Church. Read an encyclical daily (make it apart of your 1 hour silence if need be) Read a chapter from the writings of the saints specifically on the interior life. The Imitation of Christ and the Sacred Heart are absolutely mandatory in my opinion.
Love works. Faith without works is dead because love without works is dead. There is time daily for us to show the world our Love on display. Feed the homeless, visit the sick, admonish the sinner, correct those following the Vatican II New Religion, pray for our enemies, etc There is a lot we could do but unfortunately when we are not structured and disciplined we fail to see those things Christ does. How many of these opportunities pass us by daily. God cannot work in you until you get off your own throne. Self or the Sacred Heart? Which shall it be?
Do penance. Find those things (in your journal?) that you cannot absolutely stand to do and DO THEM (not sinful things of course). Break your will my friend so that Christ can put you together in grace. Mortify your senses and appetites. It must become conscious you are attempting to be an inward man. Sacrifice for Christ this pleases Him much. Go above and beyond what your Confessor would ask of you! Go above and beyond what the Church would ask of you! Strive for holiness for if you will not be holy there is no guarantee thy neighbor will and if no one will strive for holiness then where does that leave Society? Well, take a look at the current world scene. Perhaps take a long walk in the cold weather specifically for the souls in Purgatory would be a good example.
Seek advice when need be. It is good from time to time throughout the day to ask for advice from those more learned or who perhaps have gone similar trials,experiences and afflictions as you have. We must remember though that the creature does not replace God. Man cannot give you within what our Source and End can.
See Crosses as Opportunities. The heavier the Cross the greater the opportunity. The Saints did not carry around smaller crosses and talk about them publicly they carried the heaviest Crosses and spoke about them only with their Beloved within. The path of pain leads to eternal gain thus do not let your feet flee from Calvary! In addition be ever mindful of the sufferings of those around us. We all must be more compassionate towards those carrying Crosses around us.
Avoid distractions. Turn the TV off and read. Quit listening to the latest gossip online or with your friends and spend that wasteful time into doing something productive. Where we leave our soul off here in this life is where we will “pick it up” in the next. Do not remain idle but avoid the world’s deceits. Quit the clubs and parties and start getting serious about your salvation. There is always something to do for the Lord so why waste that time doing utterly rubbish and meaningless things.
Meditate. Make your home a healthy environment for the Saints and angels! Turn on some lovely Gregorian chant and Latin Hymns. Light a candle, be still and silent on the surface and speak within. Find a room in the house that can be strictly setup for meditation. Get an Image of the Holy Face of Christ and just behold Him. Remember the world stands no chance of changing unless you first decide to change yourself. Take one Scripture andquote of a saint and reflect upon that daily. Remember, it is not what Christ can do for us rather we must find and obtain this Heart which always looked to serve others. You won’t find this Sacred Heart within if you are constantly trying to look into others……get it?
Habit. Take the aforementioned previous 12 steps and make them a habit. These are at least a good start into becoming more structured anddisciplined for each day. Having a few good days is simply not enough! Do not become stagnant and let your friends be the example we are to live by. One bad habit can cost you an eternity. Therefore, let the Blessed Mother into your life and specifically into your heart and let her watch over thy every movement it makes. Ask if this would please the Sacred Heart or not. Wear the scapular pray the Rosary. See each day as a new battle in the war for the soul wherein, we, Her Soldiers, must follow the orders of Holy Religion if we are even to get out of this war alive. We are not guaranteed another day, another afternoon, another hour, how thence will you choose to spend your time? May God bless you and keep you, Ave Maria!