Spiritual Combat

At long last I intend to read a book I should have read long ago, Spiritual Combat. This book was a favorite of St. Francis de Sales, and one he highly recommended. So it is beyond time to take it on. I may therefore post excerpts from time to time in the space. First one is today, and at the advice of Vizzini to Inigo Montoya, I need to go “back to the beginning. So this is the beginning.”:

CHRISTIAN SOUL!  If you seek to reach the loftiest peak of perfection, and to unite yourself so intimately with God that you become one with spirit with Him, you must first know the true nature and perfection of spirituality in order to succeed in the most sublime undertaking that can be experienced or imagined.

Some, who judge by appearances, make it consist in penances, in hair shirts, austerities of the flesh, vigils, fasting, and similar bodily mortifications. Others fancy themselves extremely virtuous when they indulge in long periods of vocal prayers, hear several Masses, spend many hours in church . . . Others, and this does not exclude some of the religious who have consecrated themselves to God, think that perfection consist in perfect attendance in choir, in observing silence and in a strict observance of their rule. Consequently, different people place perfection in different practices. It is certain that they all equally deceive themselves.

Since exterior works are nothing more than dispositions for achieving true piety, or the effects of real piety, it cannot be said that Christian perfection and true piety consist in them. They are, without doubt, powerful means for becoming truly perfect and truly holy. When used with discretion they are of unique value in supporting our nature which is always indifferent to good and inclined to evil; in repelling the attacks and escaping the snares of our common enemy; in obtaining from the Father of Mercies those helps that are so necessary for the faithful, and especially for beginners. They are, moreover, precious fruits of the consummate virtue achieved in truly holy persons. Such men chastise their bodies either in punishment for past offenses or for greater humiliation and subjection to their Creator. They seek solitude and observe silence that, withdrawn from the world, they may preserve themselves free from the least stain of sin, and speak only with Heaven and Angels. Their time is spent in works of piety and in the service of God. They pray and meditate on the life and Passion of our Redeemer, not through curiosity, nor for the sake of some sensible pleasure arising from this, but from a desire of knowing better, on one hand, the grandeur of the Divine Goodness, and on the other hand, the depth of their own ingratitude. They do this in order to increase their love of God and detestation of self, to follow their Lord in shouldering His Cross, and in renouncing their own will. They receive the Sacraments for no other reason than the honor of God, a closer union with Him and greater security from the power of the devil.

The situation is much different with those who ignorantly place their devotion in external acts, which frequently are the cause of their own downfall, and are of far deeper consequence than open crime. In themselves they are not evil, but only when wrongly applied. They are so attached to these acts that they utterly neglect to watch the inner movements of their hearts; but giving them free rein, they leave them prey to their own corruption and to the tricks of the devil. It is then that this destroyer, seeing them go astray, not only encourages them to go on their way, but fills their imagination with empty ideas, making them believe that they already taste the joys of Paradise, the delights of Angels, that they see God face to face . . .


Since, therefore, you seek the highest degree of perfection, you must wage continual warfare against yourself and employ your entire strength in demolishing each vicious inclination, however trivial. Consequently, in preparing for the combat you must summon up all your resolution and courage. No one shall be rewarded with a crown who has not fought courageously.

But remember that as no war can be carried on with greater fierceness, the forces, no other than ourselves, being equal on both sides, so the victory when gained is most pleasing to God and most glorious to the conqueror. For whoever has the courage to conquer his passions, to subdue his appetites, and repulse even the least motions of his own will, performs an action more meritorious in the sight of God than if, without this, he should tear his flesh with the sharpest disciplines, fast with greater austerity than the ancient Fathers of the Desert, or convert multitudes of sinners.

It is true, considering things in themselves, that the conversion of a soul is, without doubt, infinitely more acceptable to the Divine Majesty than the mortification of a disorderly affection. Yet, every person, in his own particular sphere, should begin with what is immediately required of him. Now what God expects of us, above all else, is a serious application to conquering our passions; and this is more properly the accomplishment of our duty than if, with uncontrolled appetite, we should do Him a greater service.

Now that you know what Christian perfection is and that, in order to attain it, you must resolve on a perpetual warfare with yourself, begin by providing yourself with four weapons without which it is impossible to gain the victory in this spiritual combat: DISTRUST OF ONE’S SELF, CONFIDENCE IN GOD, PROPER USE OF THE FACULTIES OF BODY AND MIND, AND THE DUTY OF PRAYER.

“Choose the Form of the Destructor!”

I haven’t seen many things creepier than this. Not only a gigantic Bergoglio statue ‘idolizing’ him (according to this post) in the only country he is unwilling to visit, but this Stay-Puft Marshmallow-esque Man mimics the very moment he popped out on the balcony of St. Peter’s to announce the end of days.

Chills the blood. Creep-o-meter firmly pegged at 11.

Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart Of Jesus

June is the Month Dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This consecration is greatly needed:


Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart. 

Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to Thy Father’s house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger. 

Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that there may be but one flock and one Shepherd. 

Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism, and refuse not to draw them into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of the race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life. 

Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: “Praise be to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever.” Amen.

“How inscrutable are the Divine judgements!”

How unfortunate are those who fall from the tops of high mountains! When they fall from these heights the poor creatures roll and roll without stopping, right to the bottom of the precipice. The same thing happens to those who fall spiritually because they do not persevere in the service of God. It is a strange thing. After a good beginning and perhaps persevering for thirty or forty years in the service of God, just as they reach old age, when it is time to harvest the fruits of their labors, they tumble into the abyss of sin. How inscrutable are the Divine judgements! No one must presume on his own ability to persevere or rely on his good works as if he had nothing to fear.

St. Francis de Sales

We all know someone. Nothing new under the sun. Let us all pray to persevere to the end!

Ugh. Beware, Novus Ordo Attendees!

Here comes flip-flop season. And I defy you to go to a Sunday novus ordo between June 1 and September 1 without seeing some guy wearing them. That is, if you can find a man in attendance.

When worn by men, I call them mip-flops. Worse than the worst mandals.

Who wants to see that?!

Forget the offertory prayers, ad orientem, communion on the tongue, Gregorian chant, or Latin.


This is the best argument for the real Mass.