Last night, I chanced upon these words from The Imitation of Christ:
Look upon the lively examples of the holy Fathers in whom shone real perfection and the religious life, and you will see how little it is, and almost nothing that we do. Alas, what is our life when we compare it with theirs? Saints and friends of Christ, they served our Lord in hunger and in thirst, in cold, in nakedness, in labor and in weariness in watching, in fasting, prayers and holy meditations, and in frequent persecutions and reproaches. Oh, how many grievous tribulations did the Apostles suffer and the martyrs and Confessors and Virgins, and all the rest who resolved to follow the steps of Christ! For they hated their lives in this world, that they might keep them in life everlasting. Oh, what a strict and self-renouncing life the holy Fathers of the desert led! What long and grievous temptations did they bear! How often were they harassed by the enemy, what frequent and fervent prayer did they offer up to God, what rigorous abstinence did they practice!
What a valiant contest waged they to subdue their imperfections! What purity and straight forwardness of purpose kept them towards God! By day they labored, and much of the night they spent in prayer; though while they labored, they were far from leaving off mental prayer, They spent all their time profitably. Every hour seemed short to spend with God; and even their necessary bodily refreshment was forgotten in the great sweetness of contemplation. They renounced all riches, dignities, honor and kindred; they hardly took what was necessary for life. It grieved them to serve the body even in its necesssity. Accordingly, they were poor in earthly things, but very rich in grace and virtues.In this holy season of Advent, let us seek perfection as the Church Fathers did - and many after them.
A good start towards this end would be to follow the request made by four exorcists in the wake of the Amazonian Synod - to offer up tomorrow, December 6th, as a day of fasting in reparation for the sins committed during that Synod.
More information can be found here.
A blessed Advent to all of our readers.