“Through Christ we know that we are not destined to wander into an abyss, or the silence of nothingness or death, but that we are pilgrims on a journey to the promised land.”
With these words, Pope Benedict XVI greeted the seminarians gathered in the Cathedral of Santa María la Real de la Almudena to participate in the Eucharistic celebration. In the joyful climate of World Youth Day last month, the Holy Father invited all of the men to live these years of preparation in interior silence, constant prayer, and assiduous study in order to understand if the path they are on–a path that “requires audacity and authenticity”–is the right choice for their lives.
In a Homiletic and Pastoral Review article that was recently reprinted at www.CatholicCulture.org, Fr. Basil Cole, O.P. offers “nine signs of steady growth” when it comes to the formation of priests and religious. While all nine signs are very important, I thought I would reprint here what Fr. Cole had to say about having “an undivided heart”:
“The eighth sign is traditionally called an undivided heart. What does this mean? At first glance, someone might come to the erroneous conclusion that all loves and desires are to die except for the love of God. Grace is supposed to deny nature or uproot it rather than elevate it. This is not so: all of one’s loves and desires are to be ordered properly among themselves with an orientation to and caused by the love of God. A person’s friends, love of food, music, or sports are to be joined with a love for God. This, then, is the undivided heart: loving God first and all else in him. All legitimate attachments to this world are thus properly ordered by reason and faith to God. This is evident by a person’s disposition to let things in his or her life go when they are either taken away by death or sickness or become an obstacle to one’s union with God.”
Read the entire article here. Also at Catholic Culture, Jeff Mirus applies Fr. Cole’s article to everyone’s growth in the spiritual life in this companion post.