|Coronation of the Virgin with Six Saints by Ghirlandaio (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons).|
I first encountered St. Peter Julian Eymard when I came across his marvelous nine volume set of little books devoted to the Holy Eucharist.
As I began to collect these treasures penned by the French priest who founded the Blessed Sacrament Fathers, I found myself particularly drawn to one, simply titled “Holy Communion.”
My somewhat tattered copy of this little book is heavily highlighted, especially within the chapter named The Grace of Life. In this little chapter, I learned from St. Peter Julian something I had not heard of before…that each soul seeking the way of perfection on the spiritual journey possesses a “ruling grace.”
"It is a grace of perfection which demands much more than the mere accomplishment of the law; it is the life, the sanctity of the soul.
"…[I]in the supernatural order, there are ruling graces, accessory graces, and complementary graces. Of the ruling graces, a single one is sufficient to lead to perfection. They give life and force to all other graces; they are the seal and impress of a life" (Holy Communion, pp. 170-171).
Did you ever wonder why you may not be especially attracted to fasting and penance, or why you admire those who work intensely with the poor, but you yourself do not seem drawn to do so? Do you struggle to have a constant awareness of Our Lord’s Passion, or become frustrated because you cannot seem to pray the rosary as often as you think you should?
If so, the above virtues and devotions are most likely not your ruling grace…the grace of your life. The “impress” of your life.
"The ruling grace of a soul has two effects: first, it points out the path the soul must follow in its spiritual conduct; second, it guides the soul to a special vocation."
Read the rest at Patricia's blog I Want to See God.