"After so much austerity, I have understood this as the real truth - God is present in every jiva; there is no other God besides that. "Who serves jiva, serves God indeed." - Swami Vivekananda
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VEDANTA MASS MEDIA The Imitation of Christ | The Practices of a Good Religious  

 

 

         

 

 


                   

     The Nineteenth Chapter

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

 

     THE life of a good religious ought to abound in every virtue so that he is interiorly what to others

he appears to be. With good reason there ought to be much more within than appears on the outside,

for He who sees within is God, Whom we ought to reverence most highly wherever we are and in

Whose sight we ought to walk pure as the angels.

 

     Each day we ought to renew our resolutions and arouse ourselves to fervor as though it were

the first day of our religious life. We ought to say: "Help me, O Lord God, in my good resolution

and in Your holy service. Grant me now, this very day, to begin perfectly, for thus far I have done

nothing."

 

     As our intention is, so will be our progress; and he who desires perfection must be very diligent.

If the strong-willed man fails frequently, what of the man who makes up his mind seldom or

half-heartedly? Many are the ways of failing in our resolutions; even a slight omission of religious

practice entails a loss of some kind.

 

     Just men depend on the grace of God rather than on their own wisdom in keeping their

resolutions. In Him they confide every undertaking, for man, indeed, proposes but God disposes,

and God?s way is not man?s. If a habitual exercise is sometimes omitted out of piety or in the

interests of another, it can easily be resumed later. But if it be abandoned carelessly, through

weariness or neglect, then the fault is great and will prove hurtful. Much as we try, we still fail too

easily in many things. Yet we must always have some fixed purpose, especially against things

which beset us the most. Our outward and inward lives alike must be closely watched and well

ordered, for both are important to perfection.

 

     If you cannot recollect yourself continuously, do so once a day at least, in the morning or in

the evening. In the morning make a resolution and in the evening examine yourself on what you

have said this day, what you have done and thought, for in these things perhaps you have often

offended God and those about you.

 

     Arm yourself like a man against the devil?s assaults. Curb your appetite and you will more

easily curb every inclination of the flesh. Never be completely unoccupied, but read or write or

pray or meditate or do something for the common good. Bodily discipline, however, must be

undertaken with discretion and is not to be practiced indiscriminately by everyone.

 

     Devotions not common to all are not to be displayed in public, for such personal things are

better performed in private. Furthermore, beware of indifference to community prayer through love

of your own devotions. If, however, after doing completely and faithfully all you are bound and

commanded to do, you then have leisure, use it as personal piety suggests.

 

     Not everyone can have the same devotion. One exactly suits this person, another that. Different

exercises, likewise, are suitable for different times, some for feast days and some again for weekdays.

In time of temptation we need certain devotions. For days of rest and peace we need others. Some

are suitable when we are sad, others when we are joyful in the Lord.

 

     About the time of the principal feasts good devotions ought to be renewed and the intercession

of the saints more fervently implored. From one feast day to the next we ought to fix our purpose

as though we were then to pass from this world and come to the eternal holyday.

 

     During holy seasons, finally, we ought to prepare ourselves carefully, to live holier lives, and

to observe each rule more strictly, as though we were soon to receive from God the reward of our

labors. If this end be deferred, let us believe that we are not well prepared and that we are not yet

worthy of the great glory that shall in due time be revealed to us. Let us try, meanwhile, to prepare

ourselves better for death.

 

     "Blessed is the servant," says Christ, "whom his master, when he cometh, shall find watching.

Amen I say to you: he shall make him ruler over all his goods." (5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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International Yoga Day 21 June 2015
International Yoga Day 21 June 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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