Order Your Soul

Order your soul; reduce your wants; live in charity; associate in Christian community; obey the laws; trust in Providence.”  St. Augustine

Who doesn’t love a good set of rules to live by, even a set of rules that is some 1,600 years old.  (I guess “time-tested” would be preferable to “old.”)

“Order your soul” seems like a tough one to start with.  First I have to identify my soul, then the contents, then put them in the proper order.  My on-line dictionary defines the “soul” as the spiritual or non-material part of a human being.  With that in mind, as I read “order your soul,” what comes to mind is the more colloquial “get your s$#t together,” “s$#t” being not so much “tangible stuff” as the intangibles.  In this (here I go mixing saints) what comes to mind is the concept of “disordered affections” of which St. Ignatius wrote.  “Disordered affections” are, as one commentator wrote, not generally when we choose bad things, but when we put the good things in the wrong order.  Or, as he wrote, when “we make good things god things.”  There is nothing wrong with liking a sports team, alcohol, work, fishing, etc., but if I set those up ahead of God, if they start to control my life, then I engage in idolatry, so to speak, and I have a problem – a disordered affection.

How is my soul ordered?

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