“He does not receive the Victor’s Crown unless he fights well.” – 2 Timothy 2:5.
This is the theme verse of an intense work on the interior life of the Christian man.
The work The Spiritual Combat (read here) begins this way: “Would you attain in Christ the height of perfection, and by a nearer and nearer approach to God become one Spirit with Him?”
In the opening chapter of this 66 chapter work, the author teaches us how he views TRUE SPIRITUALITY: “It consists in nothing else but the knowledge of the goodness and the greatness of God, and of our nothingness and inclination to all evil; in the love of Him and the hatred of ourselves, in subjection, not to Him alone, but for love of Him, to all creature; in entire renunciation of all will of our own and absolute resignation to all His divine pleasure; and furthermore, willing and doing all this purely for the glory of God and solely to please Him, and because He so wills and merits thus to be loved and served.”
The task at hand, according to the author, is to identify the apparent spirituality of man, purify it, and find the most perfect way of spiritual living.
After identifying that the spiritual life requires “a continual sharp warfare against self,” the author identifies four “most sure and necessary weapons.”
1) Distrust of Self
2) Trust in God
3) Spiritual Exercises
Chapter 2: Distrust of Self