Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A rule of life

I found this, recently re-read in my nightstand book. It is a great outline for a priest's rule of life. And could certainly be applicable with some tweaking to that of the laity.

Practical Suggestions – The Soul of the Apostolate

1) Let the following conviction become deeply impressed upon your mind; namely, that a soul cannot lead an interior life without the schedule (and then do violence to yourself, if necessary, to keep it, and control the flood of your activities) and without the firm resolution to keep it all the time, especially where the rigorously fixed hour of rising is concerned.
2) Base your interior life on its absolute necessary element: morning mental prayer. St. Theresa said that, “The peson who is fully determined to make a half hour’s mental prayer every morning, cost what it may, has already traveled half his journey.” Without mental prayer, the day will almost unavoidably be a tepid one.
3) Mass, Holy Communion, and the recitation of The Office are liturgical foundations which offer inexhaustible resources for the interior life and are to be exploited with an ever increasing faith and fervor.
4) The particular and general examinations of conscience, should, like mental prayer and the liturgical life, help us to develop custody of the heart in “watching” and “praying” (vigilate et orate) are combined.
5) This leads to a need for incessant prayer by means of spiritual Communions and ejaculatory prayers of which are so easy, to one who wants to practice them, een in the thick of the most absorbing occupations, and which offer themselves in such a pleasing variation, appropriate to the particular needs of every present moment, to the present situation, dangers, difficulties, weariness, deceptions, and so on.
6) Devout study of Sacred Scripture, especially of the New Testament, out to find a place each day, or at least several times a week in the life of a priest. Spiritual reading every afternoon is a daily duty which no generous soul will ever neglect. The mind needs to be brought face to face with supernatural truths, and with the dogmas that generate piety, and with their moral consequences, so easily.
7) Thanks to this custody of the heart, which will serve as its remote preparation, weekly confession will infallibly be inbued with sincere contrition, with true sorrow, and with an ever more loyal and more resolutely firm purpose of amendment.
8) The yearly retreat is very useful, but it is not enough. A monthly retreat (taking up an entire day, or a least a half day), devoted to a serious effort to recover the equilibrium of the soul is almost indisepensible to the active worker.