Striving for Perfection – Part 4 of 10

Father Geiermann continues his discussion of striving for perfection by noting that a person determined to attain perfection will manifest a contempt for the “the world” and for Satan.

Regarding contempt of the world, recall that he defines “the world” as “that part of mankind which rebels against God and follows the inclinations of the flesh.” Concerning “the world” he writes: “We must despise its false principles and maxims, its selfish motives and hypocritical rules of conduct. We must hate its seductive honors and allurements. . . . The light of faith alone enables us to understand the false assumptions and the pernicious influence of the world, and to triumph over it and the weakness of human respect. Hence St. John says: ‘Whatever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith’ (1 Jn 5:4).”

Concerning contempt of Satan, Geiermann observes: “An excessive fear of the power of Satan springs as much from a want of confidence in God, as a false security against the powers of darkness is an evidence of a want of practical faith. In the temptation in the desert Jesus was, humanly speaking, taken at a disadvantage by the devil. And yet He did not give way to fear when tempted, but calmly said: ‘Begone, Satan: for it is written, the Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve’ (Mt 4:10).” He concludes: “As long as we (1) fear and tremble at the thought of our own weakness, (2) watch and pray lest we fall into temptation, and (3) call on Jesus and Mary in time of temptation, we enjoy the special protection of Divine Providence, and may safely despise all the powers of hell.”

Quotations from Peter Geiermann, The Narrow Way (New York: Benziger, 1914).

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