Sunday, July 19, 2020

Sunday Sermon, July 19th -- Moving into the Second Age of the Spiritual Life, Infused Contemplation (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi)

"The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings."

St Paul refers to the transition from the first age of the spiritual life (the age of beginners) to the second age (the age of the proficients). We are all called to reach the age of the perfect, but in today's sermon we will consider only this transition from the first to the second age.

In the first age, we are very active in our prayer and when making our meditations. In this time, we might benefit from focusing on whether I am physically attentive to prayer with my body (sitting upright or kneeling or standing etc, in a place that is conducive to meditation, etc), whether I am mentally attentive to prayer (thinking about what I'm saying, focusing the mind on the mysteries, etc), and whether my heart is dedicated to the prayer through love (and this is the deeper goal of prayer - not to accomplish anything else or be productive, but simply to love God more).

Learning to humbly accept distractions in prayer, not seeking to uproot them but simply bearing with them patiently, is a great means of moving into the second age of the spiritual life.  In this age of the proficients, the Spirit comes to our aid and he prays within us. Prayer will no longer be so much our active work, but rather the soul is more passive as God pours his grace into our soul.

We follow the doctrine of St Teresa of Avila.

Listen online [here]!


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