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.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Inward Recollection Inhibits the Self

Another favorable result, connected with the habit of inward recollection, is, that, by confining the mind to the present moment, and retaining God in the position of a present counselor and guide, it prevents the exercise of reflex and selfish acts on the past, and also undue and selfish calculations for the future. Self, if we permit it, will either secretly or openly find nourishment every where; and every where, therefore, we are to fight against it, overcome it, slay it. When the past is gone and we are conscious that we have done  our duty in it, if we would not have the life of self imbibing strength from that source, we must leave it with God in simplicity of spirit; and not suffer it to furnish food either for vanity or disheartening regrets. We should avoid also all undue and selfish calculations for the future, such as continually agitate.and distract the minds of the people of the world; and indeed all thoughts and anticipations of a prospective character, which do not flow out of the facts and the
relations of the present moment, and which are not sanctioned by a present divine inspection.

Happy is the man who retains nothing in his mind, but what is necessary; and who only thinks of each thing just when it is the time to think of it; so that it is rather God, who excites the perception and idea of it, by an impression and discovery of his will which we must perform, than the mind's being at the trouble to forecast and find it. — Fenelon's Directions for a Holy Life.

To these important results, there can be no question, that the habit of inward recollection is exceedingly favorable.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life  (2nd Edition, 1844) Part 3, Chapter 7.

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