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Spiritual Combat Ending; Trustful Surrender Begins

August 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

It occurred to me that I actually had two posts to put together for today – one to sum up the book we’re reading and one to introduce our new book. That could make for a lot to read in one day, so I made two decisions:

1. Put together one post with two parts – each one short and sweet.

2. Leave an extra week at the end of future books so we can take some time to digest our current book before moving on to the next one.

Spiritual Combat

I’ve shared many thoughts regarding this book – I was happy to see that the last portion focused on acquiring and maintaining peace in our souls. Especially since, for me, this book has been a roller coaster. Overall, I am pleased that I finished it – something I may not have done without the benefit of this book club. Not because it wasn’t a good book. But because it seriously challenged me where I needed to be challenged. And very often I cower from challenges. I’d rather set them in a corner somewhere and continue bulldozing my way through life on whatever mission I’ve chosen for the moment. And when I don’t examine myself, I am free – for the moment at least – to press on in ignorance. Ashamedly, I’ll admit, sometimes ignorance is easier; and I’ve been known to follow the easy road a time or two (Wow – talk about a big light bulb here – NOT the road I want!). Clearly I have a lot of work to do – I’m assuming I’m not the only one. I hope this book challenged you too, and that you likewise have learned to distrust yourself and to question your motives, trusting in the Lord alone.

Rather than post a single quote this week, I thought it would be fun to post several of my favorite smaller ones (from the final reading), and to ask you to post some of your own, perhaps commenting on them as well.

The following quotes are found in the TAN version:

All externals will prove ineffectual unless they be invigorated by and permeated with worthy, internal dispositions. – pg. 205 (TAN)

…the principal effort of our lives should be the quieting of our hearts, and the prudent guidance of those hearts lest they go astray. – pg. 206 (TAN)

Let us not be hurried by the endless and pointless hurry of the business world; when we are at work, let us attend to business affairs with composure and ease, refraining from rigid conformity to a harsh, exacting schedule, and too great an eagerness to see our work done. – pg. 207-208

Our principal intention, a continual awareness of God’s holy presence, and an unchanging desire to please Him, should preside over all our actions. – pg. 208

The Christian soul, as it travels this path, learns to converse with God alone and to be so strongly fortified by His presence, that it is willing to suffer anything for him and the promotion of His glory. – pg. 211

…the very cornerstone of the spiritual ediface is not dependent on our knowledge, possessions, or desires in the slightest degree. Rather should we remain in a state of perfect self-denial like Mary at the feet of Jesus, instead of busying ourselves with many things like Martha. – pg. 218

 Frequently we see many clerics who exhaust themselves in the fatiguing execution of their duties without deriving any advantages for themselves, or finding peace. For they imagine they have done nothing if they leave their task unfinished, believing perfection to consist in constant adherence to the minutest prescriptions of their own wills. Thus their lives are spent in weariness and toil as one who labors fruitlessly through the years; never do they obtain that true repose and interior peace in which the Lord truly dwells, for it is the peaceful soul that is a sanctuary of Jesus Christ. – pg. 219

These last two were big eye-openers for me as a busy mom in a household of eight! Which quotes spoke to you and why? Feel free to choose any quotes from the book.

Announcing our New Book

Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence by Fr. Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure (TAN version)

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have. I’ve read this book three times and the pages are literally falling out because it’s been so well-used. For anyone who had trouble with the Trusting God portion of Spiritual Combat, this book should provide some straightforward guidance toward that end.

In case you missed the previous introduction I made announcing this book, here is the quote from the back cover:

Since it is the most perfect act of charity and the most pleasing and acceptable sacrifice that is given to man to offer to God, there can be no doubt that whoever practices entire submission to His will lays up inestimable treasures at every moment and amasses more riches in a few days than others are able to acquire in many years and with great labor.  To remain indifferent to good fortune or to adversity by accepting it all from the hand of God without questioning, not to ask for things to be done as we would like them but as God wishes, to make the intention of all our prayers that God’s will should be perfectly accomplished in ourselves and in all creatures is to find the secret of happiness and content. (pages 38-39)

(NOTE: I'll be using the TAN version of this book and all quotes will refer to this version only; however, please remember that you are welcome to use whatever version you wish – I'm sure there are several other options available.)

Schedule (TAN version):

Week 1 (Aug. 7) pg. 11-52

Week 2 (Aug. 14) pg. 53-97

Week 3 (Aug. 21) pg. 97-139

Happy Reading!

Read more: Previous Book Club Posts

Book Club Information Page:


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About Vicki Burbach

Vicki Burbach is a wife and homeschooling mother of six children ages four to sixteen years who relishes the calm inspiration of spiritual reading amidst the roller coaster of life. A passionate convert to the Faith, Vicki is an avid reader who started the book club so she could embark with like-minded bibliophiles on a spiritual journey through some of the greatest Catholic books ever written. She is author of the new book How to Read Your Way to Heaven - A Spiritual Reading Program for the Worst of Sinners, the Greatest of Saints, and Everyone in Between. You can also find her at

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