The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Subjecting Our Will to Others

It is not only necessary that our feelings and purposes should, by divine aid, be brought back to a right position, but that the mysterious and powerful influence of former evil habits should be entirely annulled. And this result is the more likely to be secured, if we unite the concurrence of our own efforts with the operations of divine grace.

A favorable effect will oftentimes be experienced in this particular, if we adopt the practice, in things which are indifferent, of subjecting our desires and our will to the will of others. In other words, our wills will be the more easily placed beyond the influence of former evil habits, and brought into undisturbed harmony with God, if we keep them in subjection in our intercourse with men. Occasions of a conflict of will, in matters of mere convenience, and which involve no moral principle, occur constantly. In such cases, in the prospect we have before us of an improvement in our spiritual characters, we should make it a rule to give a precedence to the desires and purposes of others over our own.

"There is nothing more sweet," says Antonia Bourignon, in speaking on this subject, "and which brings more rest to the body and the soul, than obedience and submission to another in good things. Yea, obedience in itself is always profitable to our perfection, though it were yielded even to imperfect persons, provided they command nothing that is evil.  For, by submitting to another in indifferent things, one always overcomes the corruptions of his nature, and  denies himself,  as Christ, in Mark 8: 34, has taught us to do." [Letters of Antonia Bourignon on, pp. 72, 73.]

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 5, Chapter 6.

No comments:

Post a Comment