Quality of Actions

From the Directory of Venerable Bruno Lanteri

Art. 1 § 3. MEANS FOR PERFECTING EVERY ACTION OF THE DAY

The Oblates’ greatest concern, both as regards the above acts of religion and as regards all other actions of the day, is not only to do good actions but also to do all of them well, following the example of the Divine Master. They will therefore pay particular attention to the quality of their actions, to their purpose, and to the way in which they are carried out.

Quality of Actions

As to the quality of their actions, they are resolved above all never to do anything contrary to the known will of God, and against their own conscience. They guard against actions prompted only by self-will as ruining even good actions. To any acts of supererogation they always prefer those that are commanded by God, and the prescriptions of Superiors. As to free acts, they will further choose those they know to be for the greater glory of God–those, that is, in which the Vince te ipsum can be most practiced and the greatest good to souls procured.

The Aim of Actions

They will strive for great rectitude of intention as to the aim of their actions.
Mindful of the Savior’s words: “If your eye be not light your body will be dark”, they will take particular care, in carrying out every action, to avoid human ends. They will seek God only in all things and His Holy Will, not themselves, nor their own convenience.

They will study how to please God alone, not men. They will be anxious to render supremely noble and meritorious not only all these acts of religion, but also all others that might in themselves be indifferent or ordinary. Thus they will turn these too into true acts of charity. They will not rest content with having expressed this rectitude of intention at the beginning of the day, and with keeping it virtually, they will often renew it during the day, lest it be their lot to begin in the spirit and end in the flesh.

Way of Carrying out Actions

As to the way of carrying out actions, they will follow the only one that pleases God and proposed to us by the Eternal Father – that is, imitation of God’s own Son, Who made Himself a servant, so as to be the model of His servants. In every action, then, they will have Jesus Christ before their eyes, taking Him as their companion and model and seeking to imitate Him in the most perfect way, both outwardly and inwardly, together with the example of the Most Blessed Virgin. By this means, with the intercession of Mary, they will more and more make themselves resemble the image of Jesus, which they must impress upon their own souls.

And the better to succeed in this undertaking, they will adopt the practice of always commencing an action not with impetuosity but ex fide, that is, with a calm glance of faith at Jesus, our model. They will clothe themselves in His spirit and unite themselves to His Will, so as to act as He would have done in similar circumstances.
They will not carry out an action languidly, but cum affectu, with frequent tranquil and serenely confident glances of the heart towards Jesus. They will finish their actions not ex abrupto but reflexe –that is, as was said above in speaking of the examination of conscience, with a rapid glance to see if the action was wholly according to the heart of Jesus, or no, so as then to thank Our Lord, or else make an act of contrition.

And this they set themselves to do always, whether it be a question of praying, acting or suffering.

The fruits that will come of this way of acting–this grace they further unceasingly ask of Jesus and Mary–will consist in a great likeness to Jesus and union with Him, wherein lies our entire sanctification. To this end, indeed, they will make constant efforts to keep the memory from dissipation, tranquilly fixed in Jesus, accustoming the mind to see and judge everything according to Jesus and keeping the will ever peacefully united to Jesus, conversing with Jesus, ever united with Jesus in their intentions and actions and becoming a living copy of Jesus. Jesus is the sole treasure of their hearts; Jesus lives in their hearts and they live in the heart of Jesus. What can be greater or more consoling than that!

“Put on, therefore, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
A great resolution to imitate Jesus Christ.

At the start of each action,

  • Give a simple and loving look toward Jesus to see how he would do what you are about to do, or how he would do it as if he were in your place. Fill this purpose with a great
  • Unite your heart to his and your action to his own in order to gain from this the energy and strength to do it with his spirit, that is, according to all the purposes and plans, with all the perfection, with which he desires that you do it.
  • Pray that he will place his hand upon your hand, that he will work together with you,  since without him all that you do will be defective.
  • In your evening Examen, compare your actions with those of Jesus Christ.

+ Ask his forgiveness by his sacred wounds.
+ Receive with reverence the blood which flows from them to wash away the stains and defects of your soul.
+ Make a strong resolution to become more faithful to the example given us in Jesus.

“Hic est Filius meus dilectus, in quo mihi complacui ipsum audite.” (Matthew 3:17 and Luke 9:35)
“Inspice et fac secundum exemplar, quod tibi in monte monstratum est.” (Exodus 25:40)
” Ego sum via, et veritas, et vita: nemo venit ad Patrem nisi per me.” (John 14:6)