Quentin Hakenewerth, SM
The term “virtues” can conjure up feelings of outdated dogmas, old-fashioned guilt, and impossible moral standards. Father Quentin Hakenewerth provides a gentle, clear opportunity for us to grow in the virtues of Jesus together. His assumption is that we all have positive capacities in our personalities that can be magnified if we become aware of our true potential through self-awareness and prayer. In our fast-paced, success-oriented world, Father Hakenewerth guides us on a journey of inner peace and union with Jesus, enabling us to face life in a Christ-oriented manner.
Fill our minds with what is true and good. . . . Who decided what goes into our minds? If we practice the virtue of silence of mind, we decide, and make conscious efforts to control the input according to our best purposes and the greatest good for others. Recently I made a 24-hour bus trip in Europe. During the trip, three video films were shown to the passengers—all three were full of personal violence. The evening I arrived at my destination, my spirit was troubled by images of violence and aggressive feelings coming up inside of me. I could not think calmly about the work I had come to do. I could not seem to give even-tempered attention to the people who welcomed me. A week later I returned home on the same bus, with three more violent videos. But this time I did not follow the films, and I turned my mind to other things. To do so I had to consciously resist the fascination of video thrillers. I was glad I did, because I was happier and more congenial than I had been at the end of the previous trip. That night I reflected: What a different journey it would have been if the videos had nourished our minds with wholesome stories or good information! There is an abundance of material, both good and bad, with which to fill our minds. But we have to control what we take in. It is a valuable discipline to go after what is true and good.
Themes for Prayer and Meditation . . .
Consider the advantages of filling your mind with truth and right thinking, especially how doing so affects your entire personality.
+ “Do not conform yourselves at this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect” (Rm 12:2).
+ “If your whole body is full of light, and no part of it is darkness, then it will be as full of light as a lamp illuminating you with its brightness” (Lk 11:36).
Questions for Personal Review or Group Sharing
Mention some things you read regularly or TV programs you frequently watch. How do they help or hinder putting on the mind of Christ?
How can you fill your mind from the same source as Jesus did and thus “take on the mind of Christ”?
Shaping the True Self
Contending With Our Ego Self
PART ONE: Preparation Virtues
Support of Mortification
PART TWO: The Work of Purification
Weakness - Limitations
Tendencies Toward Evil
Opposition - Contrarieties
Suggestions to Give Up
PART THREE: Consummation Virtues
Total Abnegation of the Old Self
Complete Detachment from the Goods of This World