Good Afternoon Disciples of Jesus Christ. We are continuing our study of becoming more holy and more spiritually closer to Our Lord. This is what the prophets are telling us is critical to prepare for what is coming, and honestly, we are supposed to be doing this anyway, but our society as a whole has just gotten completely away from it because of modernism. So, most of us are late in the game on doing this, including myself, but it is never too late to try and become more holy for Jesus to Serve Him and do what He asks us to do in becoming Saints. Reverend Garrigou- Lagrange was apparently gifted by the Holy Spirit on knowledge of the Saints and understanding their advancements in the Spiritual lives with Our Lord. He has written several books by volumes on these stages of advancement and also what keeps us even as Faithful Children of God from advancing in these stages. The first time we mentioned Father Garrigou-Lagrange is when we posted the videos by Father Quan on explaining the 3 stages of Spiritual Life based on Father Garrigou-Lagrange’s studies. Here are some amazing websites that have a large amount of Father Garrigou-Lagrange’s volumes of study, http://www.catholictradition.org/Christ/lagrange.htm.
If you have not gone to the post we have written about the 3 Stages of Spiritual Life that is explained by Father Quan, you should do that first, and you can go to the page at the top of the blog that is titled, “How To Prepare For The Times of Distress Spiritually Before the Warning and Coming Tribulation”. The post on the 3 Stages of Spiritual Life are down towards the bottom of the page. Now, we are going to post some videos by Father Chad Ripperger and his explanation of what Father Garrigoue-Lagrange meant by retarded souls. In another words, what is it that is keeping us from advancing further with Our Lord, even after it seems we have done all of the things our Church tells us to do. Again, if you are like me, we just need a little more help and guidance into what it is that is a stumbling block for us in our Spiritual Life, and Father Ripperger explains what Father Garrigou-Lagrange wrote that are our stumbling blocks. If you are reading this blog from another country and are having trouble understanding the videos in English, prayerfully, the information we have posted up top of Father Garrigou-Lagrange’s studies will be beneficial. Here is Father Chad Ripperger’s video, Part 1, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rPDOFGBgbs.
Okay, as we listened to Father Ripperger explain what stunts our growth Spiritually, you can hear him explain how the little things are the biggest challenges for us to overcome daily to obtain the virtues and perfection of each virtue that brings us to the Transformative union with God. The three main reasons for our stunted growth in our Spiritual Life are Egoism, Neglect of the Little Things, and Refusal for Sacrifice.
Father Ripperger explained that in Egoism, we have a tendency towards ourselves even though, we think we are doing things for God. We have to keep our focus on God daily, and we have to look at everything from the point of view from God. Everything we do in our lives has to be for God, and this is a choice. So, even when we are simply taking care of our families, we are doing it for God and Our Love of God, because He is the one that gave us our families.
Father Ripperger explained that in the Neglect of the Little Things, there has to be an exactitude in fulfillment of the duties of state and mind. Little things in our prayer life, obedience in attending daily Mass and going to adoration. We have to die in our comfort, thus causing us to die to ourselves. If we follow a certain regiment, it crushes the emotions of daily life. His example was when we get up in the morning, we need to pray at certain times of the day, instead of just when we feel like it. Because, then we allow our emotions to dictate what we are going to do, which usually means we will not get to it. In our vocations, we have to do the little things in our marriage, for our families, and the virtue of Charity is perfected in the little things that we do for others. When we are perfecting a particular virtue, we have to ask ourselves, what is my objective good? An example would be are we watching that TV show for a good reason besides entertainment and is this advancing me Spiritually with Our Lord. Or, am I eating this sandwich because it is healthy, or because it just tastes good. Father Ripperger re-states that we cannot perfect the virtue without mastering the little things and this takes a lot of work on our part.
Father Ripperger also explained that The Refusal of Sacrifice is also a large stumbling block, and this goes back to dying to oneself. Derision is when we laugh at someone to lower them at their success, so that we don’t look at our own imperfections. St. Thomas tells us this is a sin because we are looking at the splinter of wood in someone else’s eye, and missing the plank in our own, as Jesus tells us in the gospels. We do this so that we make ourselves feel better to be content with where we are Spiritually. (Note -In modenism, this has taken on a whole new level of sin in our times, because our societies have been deceived in believing that sin is okay and those that are trying to love God should be made fun of for being too harsh and judgmental.) Father Ripper explained that this takes us back to Egoism and we don’t want to know ourselves, or believe we are sinners, so we deride others to make ourselves feel better.
Next, Here is Father Chad Ripperger in Retarded Souls, Part 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC-ptGbiRO4. Father Ripper explained in this video that what makes us retarded souls is when we are mostly unwilling to Sacrifice when it is asked of us by God. St. Thomas explained that the biggest of our Sacrifice to God is our own free will. A Sacrifice is defined as taking something good and giving it back to God. In an Offertory Sacrifice, we suffer some kind of loss along the way, but we receive something good, which is grace from God to turn it into virtue for our souls. We should be in the habit of offering our prayers, works, and sufferings everyday.
Father Ripperger explained that in the sacrifice, we are atoning for our sins, and when we choose not to sacrifice, or do what God is asking us to do, we are choosing a lesser good over the good of virtue. Each time God asks us to make a sacrifice in our lives, He is giving us an opportunity to grow in virtue. We have to be willing to give everything to God, to die to ourselves, and separate from ourselves. We have to know that we are placing a priority of spiritual goods over material goods, and when we Sacrifice for God, this makes God more important in our lives than we are. We are saying to God, “God you are more important to me than myself.” Father Ripperger explained that the perfection of the virtue is doing it immediately, and not kicking and complaining about it as we do it for the Lord.
The Sacrifice becomes complete when we offer the sacrifice, it has to be completely to God, and we start cutting off those things that are not of God, or relational to God. As lay people, we should prefer to Sacrifice for the spouse, and children to their parents. Prayer life should be a Sacrifice of time, and comfort, like doing without television or something we enjoy, that which is not relational to God. We should also Sacrifice ourselves with a willingness to suffer.
Lastly, Father Ripperger explained we become retarded souls because we have the wrong perception of what is the greater good in our lives, or we have Malice. Malice is defined as choosing a lesser good over a greater good. (Note-this is what we are also currently experiencing in our Churches and our Societies.) So, for those of us that are trying to improve our Spiritual Lives with our Lord, we have to work on an exactitude in fulfillment of the duties of state and mind. Which means, we have to intentionally put ourselves on a regiment of prayer, sacrifice ourselves to God daily by giving Him our free will, willingness to suffer daily, charity to others continually, and have an understanding that we are receiving graces to obtain virtues for our souls. Once we have perfected all of the virtues through the little things of this regiment, then we are on our way through the levels of the Spiritual life from Purgative, to Illuminative, then on to Unitive with Our Lord. Whew!!! We can do it! God is Good, and we just have to stay focused on the Cross!
Emmanuel – “God is with Us”. Jesus, We Trust in You. Have a blessed day.