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By Fr. Philip Dion, Catholic Exchange, August 21, 2020
Philip E. Dion (1910-1994) was a gifted teacher, writer, and retreat master. He wrote five books and numerous articles that reflect his humor, compassion, and strong ability to encourage. …
Editor’s note: This article is from a chapter in Fr. Dion’s The Handbook of Spiritual Perfection, which is available from Sophia Institute Press.
Too often a person looks at the past year and beholds only the shambles of the good resolutions he made last year concerning his predominant fault or some virtue he wanted to acquire. Appalled at his lack of success at another year’s end, he says once again to himself or to his director, “Why don’t I do something about getting that virtue? After all, I want to.”
Sometimes, with God’s help, the scene a person sees in retrospect is not quite so devastated. But neither is it a picture of magnificent triumph or prodigious progress in virtue. Last year, he had hoped this year would find him quite proficient in the practice of his particular virtue, or considerably more advanced toward victory over his predominant fault or faults. But such is not the case, as it was not the case last year. Yet, both these persons — the complete failure and the doubtfully successful — sincerely believe that they want to have this or that virtue or to overcome their predominant fault. ….