Sunday, January 13, 2008

Self Annihilation IV

On the Annihilation of Self

"I am before Thee as one that is not." -Psalms

"When we are spoken to of dying to ourselves, of annihilating ourselves, when we are told that that in the foundation of Christian morality, and that is it consists the adoration of God in spirit and in truth, we do not with to receive this saying; it seems to us hard and even unjust, and we rebel against those who announce it to us on the aprt of God. Let us convince ourselves once and for all that this saying has nothing but what is just and right in itself, and that the practice of it is infinitely sweeter than we think for. Afterwards let us humble ourselves if we hav not the courage to put it in practice; and instead of condemning the words of wisdom, let us condemn ourselves."

-Exerpt from Manual for Interior Souls. A Collection of Unpublished Writings by the Reverend Father Grou, SJ. London: St Anselm's Society, 18 Ashley Place, Westminster. 1905. Third Edition.

Does this not sound very much similar to "The Imitation of Christ"? I have found this book to have the same components; lofty spiritual guidance, interwoven with solid Catholic teaching in a very accessible and readily understood format. This book, however us much longer at 415 pages and was written some hundred years later.

This book, Manual for Interior Souls, was written by one Fr. Grou of the Society of Jesus in Paris, France. John Grou was born in the diocese of Boulogne, on November 24, 1731 and entered the Jesuit novitiate at the age of 15. He made is first vows at 17 and was then employed at a teacher according to the then custom of the Jesuits. He was a student of Plato and Cicero, whose writings he was particularly fond for their pure code of morals. John Grou completed a translation of Plato's Republic into French, which was followed by Laws and Dialogues - also by Plato. After becoming a priest and many accomplishments, Fr. Grou became a highly sought after spiritual director. This book, is a collection of his writings, compiled after his death.

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