The Philokalia is a collection of writings by ancient spiritual masters of the Eastern Catholic Church. It is a treasure chest of spiritual knowledge from some of the most radically devoted monks who ever lived. (I recommend that every person trying to live a radical catholic life buy the collection.) One interesting theme in The Philokalia is the battle against forgetfulness. I am sure that I am not advanced enough to understand fully what they mean by “forgetfulness” but I have come to understand what it means in my life.
I often fall because I am just forgetful about what I am striving for. For example if I am trying to fight the sin of envy I may wake up in the morning and not really even think about it until later on in the day when I have already let thoughts of envy rum rampant through my mind. I won’t remember to pray against it. I won’t remember to ask God for the grace to rid myself of it during mass and I wont call on the Blessed Virgin for help against it either.
Another example would be if I have decided to add a certain devotion to my daily exercises but I forget to plan a time for it. Say I am ready to start praying the daily rosary but I don’t do it right when I wake up and I have a really busy day so I forget about it. This kind of forgetfulness gets me all the time.
I know it probably seems silly but forgetfulness can be a serious detriment to us if we are really striving to live a radical catholic life. The Devil will use whatever he can to darw us away. In this day and age forgetfulness is becoming more and more prevalent.
Here are some ways to combat forgetfulness in your life:
Dave VanVickle is a Catholic speaker and writer focusing on the Universal Call to Holiness and Authentic Catholic Spirituality. He is currently employed as the Director of Evangelization at