Sorry for the lack of posts. We are currently upgrading our country internet from satellite to fiber, which should be up and running tomorrow!
I was recently sent the introduction to a book called Victim Souls: A Doctrinal Essay by Abbe Paulin Giloteaux and I was very moved by it. I tried to hunt down this book online for either a physical or PDF copy with very little success. My contact was able to get me this information because of their work in a Carmelite Library. It is quite a tragedy that the material in some of these unknown books tend to have some of the greatest wealth of spiritual knowledge and guidance are often the same materials that are rarely reprinted or read today.
The reason why I found it moving because it really pertains to my new efforts here and perhaps the danger of pursuing any new effort if not done in the RIGHT light. Sometimes we can fool ourselves with a supposed desire to do the will of God but at times fall into a trap where we are just pursing some high, vague ideal that has little to do with God. This is a great danger and one we need to be mindful of as we pursue any sort of activity. Does this mean we can’t pursue any type of activity? No. It only means we have to make sure it is done in the right light and with the right intention. Here is the section I wanted to share with everyone:
In venturing to approach the theme of “ victim souls “ we find ourselves immediately on difficult and most delicate ground.
The twenty years just past have seen a plentiful output of both books and pamphlets dealing with, and throwing not a little light upon, the subject; but, to our mind, there still remain abundant dangers for persons in the world, and even for consecrated souls, in the discussion of a spiritual state of such sublimity, and, still more, in aspiring to it insufficiently supplied with data or with supernatural enlightenment.
There are generous souls, indeed, whose eager spirit of adventure where things religious are concerned is oftener the indication of a temperament alive with natural energy than the effect of solid and enlightened piety. Fired, by the reading of some edifying book or by some glimpse of a magnificent ideal, with superficial enthusiasm, depending less on reason and the will than on imagination and on sensibility, they hasten forward, insufficiently prepared, towards those lofty heights which should be mounted only with the utmost caution and discretion. Souls such as these go frequently astray because they have not adequately gauged their personal powers nor searched into the laws of supernatural life. After a few abortive efforts to attain the exalted regions of the spirit, they grow discouraged by the difficulties which they encounter and, sooner or later, give up their attempt, despairing of arriving at a goal which they have aimed at unadvisedly and with no competent direction. Some, conquered by aversion and a prey to scruples, and other weary and discouraged, rest motionless and barren of all spiritual fruit, having at one time raised the brightest hopes. And others, sadder still, dazed and bewildered at some critical moment, fall into serious failings and distressing lapses, and even into scandals, all the more mischievous through being caused by pious persons with a character for being far advanced towards perfection. All this because, instead of working quietly, in the present, at their spiritual advancement, they fixed their hopes and their ambitions on ideals beyond their reach, sometimes indeed upon illusions, glimpsed in a shadowy future and having no connection either with their personal capacities or God’s designs. These are grave dangers, and it is well to draw attention to them.
On the other hand, contrasted with the souls who launch themselves with such imprudence into these difficult ways, stand certain mediocre spirits, creatures of habit, timorous or self-satisfied, cased in an armor of conventionality and taking fright at the suggestion of the slightest deviation from the beaten track adhered to by the masses of the faithful. Speak to such persons of “ the victim soul,” and instantly you have them up in arms, loud in their protests eager to do battle with so called innovations, all the more dangerous, in their eyes, through sheltering beneath the cloak of piety. Unhappily, too many voices – which should be speaking with authority join in this random dogmatizing, without sufficient information or any serious investigation of the subject, blaspheming that of which they have no knowledge, proscribing what they should commend, and, thoroughly prejudiced regarding everything connected with the spiritual life, dissuading faithful souls from the performance of their duty instead of showing them the way to light and truth. And so they frequently oppose themselves directly to the Holy Spirit, who may be calling souls to leave the ordinary track, that he may lead them onwards to the state of being saviors and redeemers – Victim Souls: A Doctrinal Essay by Abbe Paulin Giloteaux
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, pray for us!