Daily life a means of perfection

I now quote Tanquerey: “The memory and imagination are two valuable faculties, which not only furnish the mind with the necessary material whereon to work, to enable it to explain the truth with the aid of images and facts in such a manner as to make it easier to grasp, and render it more vital and more interesting. The bare, colorless and cold statement of truth would not engage the interest of most men. It is not a question, then, of atrophying these faculties, but of schooling them, of subjecting their activity to the control of reason and will. Otherwise, left to themselves, they literally crowd the soul with a host of memories and images that distract the spirit, waste its energies, cause it to lose priceless time while at work or prayer, and constitute the source of a thousand temptations against purity, charity, humility and other virtues. Hence, of necessity, they must be disciplined and made to minister to the higher faculties of the soul.”

…“In order to check the wanderings of the memory and the imagination, we must first of all strive to expel them from the outset, that is, from the very moment we are aware of them, all dangerous fancies and recollections. Furthermore, since frequent daydreaming by a kind of psychological necessity leads us into dangerous musings, we should take heed to provide against idle thoughts, by mortifying ourselves in regards to useless fancies, which constitute a waste of time and pave the way to others of an even more perilous nature. The best means to attain this end is to apply ourselves wholeheartedly to the performance of the duties of the moment, to our work, to our studies, to our ordinary occupations.” ‘Silence: A Series of Conferences Given by a Camaldolese Hermit’

Father Adolphe-Alfred Tanquerey, pss (1854-1932)


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