Monday, August 10, 2009

Mental Prayer, Part 1

Beginning again...

'What a wonderful Ideal is that which I behold in You, my Jesus. But is my life in harmony with that perfect Exemplar? That is what I now set out to discover, under Your earnest gaze, O my Divine Companion. Now You are all Mercy; but when I come before you in Particular Judgment – then at a single glance You will take in all the secret motives underlying the smallest acts of my life. Am I living according to this Ideal? Jesus, if I were to die right now, would You not find that my life is in contradiction with it?

Good Master, what are the points that You want me to correct?'

~~Dom Jean Baptiste Chautard, O.C.S.O.

I was hoping to find the text to The Soul of the Apostolate on-line somewhere. Sadly, it doesn't seem to have made the jump yet.* I'm not sure exactly why that is; it's an indescribably accessible book on prayer and the spiritual life. In fact, I can see how an ordinary soul (like me) with nothing but Holy Scripture, this book, and the help of the Holy Spirit, could make great progress ... if I would but apply myself.

Published in 1946, just at the end of World War II, The Soul of the Apostolate was translated by the youthful Thomas Merton, whose spiritual autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, was written only two years later. I hope to return to that classic as well and see if I can detect French Dom Chautard's influence on the American Trappist.

Ah! But again I digress! This is how a booklady gets herself in trouble. The point of this post was the opening quote (above) from page 206 and that all important question:
Good Master, what are the points that You want me to correct?

* After publishing this, I am happy to report, I discovered the text on-line here.

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