Friday, November 5, 2010

Daily - 10/5/10

Philippians 3:17 - 4:1

17 Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers, and observe those who thus conduct themselves according to the model you have in us.

18 For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ.

19 Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their "shame." Their minds are occupied with earthly things.

20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

21 He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.

1 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, beloved.


Paul is encouraging us to follow good models in choosing how we live our lives.

I think that's really important. I spent a large chunk of my life where I didn't associate with people who were spiritually solid. I didn't hang out in a bad crowd by any means, but I didn't spend significant time with ANYONE who even spoke about spiritual matters at all, let alone "conducted themselves according to the model" that Paul describes. Their minds were/are occupied with earthly things, not the things that have become most important to me.

As I started spending more time with people who were serious about their faith, my own faith grew. Now I had examples that I could observe, just as St. Paul encouraged the Philippians to do. Furthermore, I had companions that I could "compare notes" with on the spiritual journey, which has been extremely helpful to me.

Many saints testified to the value of associating with "good" friends and sharing spiritual friendships. St. Francis de Sales says it well:

"Truly it is a blessed thing to love on earth as we hope to love in Heaven, and to begin that friendship here which is to endure for ever there. I am not now speaking of simple charity, a love due to all mankind, but of that spiritual friendship which binds souls together, leading them to share devotions and spiritual interests, so as to have but one mind between them."