Monday, August 16, 2010

Dead and Gone!

Through Christ, the old me is dead and gone!

I have started to re-read once again a great spiritual classic that I read years ago in the novitiate, Transformation in Christ by Dietrich Von Hildebrand. Von Hildebrand was a philosopher whose work was a favorite of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. His work  is very easy to understand. Transformation in Christ is about exactly that; bringing ourselves to a way of life that fosters sanctity and helps us to attain heaven.

In the very first pages," Von Hildebrand says:

In the unconditional readiness to change, a salutary distrust of one's own self-knowledge is implied. If I am really intent on becoming "another man" I will not claim the right to determine the limit between what can , and what cannot, be justified in my nature if confronted with Christ. It is He who is to determine them though religious authority. The readiness must be present, on our part, to be changed and shaped to an indefinite degree at the hands of God, wherever He chooses to intervene by the agency of our spiritual director or of our religious superior. We are not ourselves able or entitled to determine the measure of our transformation.

Von Hildebrand explains that I can't trust myself as my own highest authority. Even more importantly, I need to find an authority that Christ had clearly chosen to work through. Von Hilebrand is dealing with that reality on a personal level, but it takes you back to the same place. A spiritual director or superior is invested to some degree with the authority given by Christ by the Church, and a good one will have a deep understand of Her teachings; it's the only thing that makes him fit to direct.

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Pray for the Canonization of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade

"You no longer belong to yourself, but to God, to the Blessed Virgin and to religion. Follow without fear; follow with joy, what such masters ask of you."
Blessed William Joseph Chaminade