A Summary of Deep Conversion / Deep Prayer by Fr. Thomas Dubay

My summary notes from Fr. Thomas Dubay's Deep Conversion/Deep Prayer:
For chapter by chapter summaries: (click here)

3 key insights from the book:

 

1. We have a remarkable resistance to conversion due to sin

“There are more people converted from mortal sin to grace, than there are religious converted from good to better” ~ St. Bernard of Clairvaux

This quote from St. Bernard captures is perfectly. We have a remarkable resistance to significant spiritual & moral change in our lives.

It is surely no exaggeration to say that if we lived 1 percent of what we hear and see and read in our splendid Catholic liturgies in a year or a month, we would be saints long ago ~ Fr. Thomas Dubay

Original sin is the only sensible explanation to this pathetic situation we constantly find ourselves in. From our birth, we have an egocentric outlook and behaviour resulting from original sin.

“Sin obscures sight” ~ Hans Urs von Balthasar

Sin does obscure sight… badly and tragically.

Remember that willed venial sins make you lukewarm… this is a recurring reason why people do not change their ways.

Thankfully…

2. There are great motives that should inspire us to pursue deep conversion

(1) Jesus Christ

  • Jesus Christ, being slowly tortured to death on His Cross out of nothing but a total self-gift for you are me – that is the supreme example, the matchless exemplar of real love.
  • “It is face to face with Christ crucified that the abysmal egoism of what we are accustomed to call love becomes clear” ~ Hans Urs von Balthasar

  • No one in history or in fiction begins to compare with the Lord of glory on his Cross: the splendor of his person, his message, his love. ~ Fr. Dubay

(2) Happiness & Joy

  • You will be far happier and fulfilled in your state in life, and so will those with whom you deal.
  • “All who seek you, Lord, will dance for joy” (Midmorning prayer, Wednesday, week 3).  Holiness triggers inexpressible joy. If one doubts this, let him try it.

(3) Love

  • Deep love demands deep conversion.
  • By it we prove real love and offer to one another a daily example of eternal impact. We love with an effectiveness that promotes the other’s eternal enthrallment as well as our own. This is real love, not in mere words, but in action.
  • “The gospel definition of love goes something like this: a self-sacrificing, willed concern for and giving to another, even if attraction and feeling are diminished or absent, and even if little or nothing is received in return—and all with divine motivation” ~ Fr. Dubay
  • Deep love demands deep conversion

(4) Ecumenical & Apostolic Effectiveness

  • Saints are the most attractive people in the world.
  • Our effectiveness increases in proportion to our level of conversion.

(5) Deep Prayer

  • There is a mutual intercausality between deep conversion and deep prayer. They are not merely juxtaposed, one next to the other. Each one helps to bring about the other. The more we are rid of our egocentrisms the more we are opened to the divine infusions of love and intimacy. In the other direction a progressively deepening of prayer furthers our purification from venial sins.
  • Make yourself a capacity and I will make myself a torrent.” ~ Jesus’ words to Bl. Angela of Foligno

(6) Preparation for eternal life

  • In everything we do in this life we are making ourselves the kind of persons we shall be for all eternity (there are degrees of our eternal enthrallment!!)
  • We also begin to see everything in the supernatural economy of salvation, the big picture!
  • “It would be nonsensical to give up even one degree of endless delight for a thousand paltry pleasures in this life, here one moment and gone the next” ~ Fr. Dubay

(7) Never bored

  • People who are profoundly intimate with their indwelling Lord are never bored.

(8) Inner healing & ability to handle suffering

  • The most basic healing of our deepest wounds comes from contemplative intimacy with the indwelling Trinity and the deep conversion that makes it possible.
  • Holiness equips the person to handle suffering profitably and even happily.

(9) Builds up our communities

  • By taking this path, we are building up our primary community: marriage, priesthood, consecrated life.

 

3. Fr. Dubay’s Surefire Program for Conversion

How does deep conversion happen? What is going to get me to move? And to be persevering about it? Not just for a few weeks after I finish this book, but for the whole rest of my life? What is our part in seeing to it that deep conversion does come about in our individual lives?

The surefire program is a combination of divine grace and our cooperation with it, both absolutely indispensable.

(1) Be concerned

  • We had better be bothered about the level we have thus far reached or not reached. We should be bothered about losing the eternal enthrallment we have been called to enter into one day and we should be bothered about moral mediocrity (Rev. 3:16).

(2) Be determined

  • Although we are not Pelagians, God makes the weak of this world mighty only to the extent that they cooperate with a determined and resolute repentance.

(3) Be motivated

  • Commit to memory the 9 reasons to be motivated mentioned above and review them often.

(4) Be committed to daily meditative/contemplative prayer

  • Intimacy with the indwelling Trinity is the taproot of our surefire program. To put it simply: the main source of deep conversion is to fall in love with endless Beauty. A genuine person will gladly sacrifice for real love. Christic martyrs are in love.

(5) Be humble

  • Humility is complete honesty.
  • How does humility promote conversion and prayer?
    • Humility invites light, divine light that we otherwise would not have. God grants His light to only those that really want it. Humility gives us the light found in the virtue of prudence, the virtue that aids us in applying the beauty of gospel principles to the immense number of details in the life of each of us.

(6) Be specific

  • Get rid of mere vague wishes. Focus on clear and specific aims and plans. 2 tips:
    1. Particular examen – focus on 1 fault to be corrected or 1 virtue to be improved. Review last 24 hours. Then prepare for next 24 hours.
    2. Confession – confess only things we can control but do not… the guilt, not the mere feelings, ordinary forgetfulness, or mistakes. We must make a firm commitment to change (“go and sin no more”).

(7) Be persevering

  • 2 tips here to be persevering against our remarkable resistance to conversion:
    1. Personal weekly checkup – After writing down the 7 Be’s… Our suggestion here is that once a week at the same time (lest it be forgotten), we go over our plan, one Be at a time, “Am I faithful to each of these seven factors? How am I succeeding—or failing? Do I need to change anything in order to improve or correct what is amiss?”
    2. Periodic accountability to someone reliable – confessor, spiritual director, spouses in an ideal marriage, appropriate people.

 

 

Favourite Quotes:

Make yourself a capacity and I will make myself a torrent.” ~ Jesus’ words to Bl. Angela of Foligno

“There are more people converted from mortal sin to grace, than there are religious converted from good to better” ~ St Bernard of Clairvaux

A saint is “walking lovesick for God” ~ St. John of the Cross

“It is surely no exaggeration to say that if we lived 1 percent of what we hear and see and read in our splendid Catholic liturgies in a year or a month, we would be saints long ago” ~ Fr. Dubay

“The New Testament therapy alone works adequately” ~ Fr. Dubay

“A saint is a homilist without saying a word” ~ Fr. Dubay

“It would be nonsensical to give up even one degree of endless delight for a thousand paltry pleasures in this life, here one moment and gone the next” ~ Fr. Dubay

Intimacy with the indwelling Trinity is the taproot of our surefire program. To put it simply: the main source of deep conversion is to fall in love with endless Beauty. A genuine person will gladly sacrifice for real love. Christic martyrs are in love ~ Fr. Dubay

“No one in history or in fiction begins to compare with the Lord of glory on his Cross: the splendor of his person, his message, his love” ~ Fr. Dubay

The gospel definition of love goes something like this: a self-sacrificing, willed concern for and giving to another, even if attraction and feeling are diminished or absent, and even if little or nothing is received in return—and all with divine motivation ~ Fr. Dubay

“It is face to face with Christ crucified that the abysmal egoism of what we are accustomed to call love becomes clear” ~ Hans Urs von Balthasar

“Truth is symphonic” ~ Hans Urs von Balthasar

“Sin obscures sight” ~ Hans Urs von Balthasar

 

Other related blog posts:

Comments

  1. This is a wonderful summary. I am reminded of St. Luke ch. 14, and all the lame excuses people give for not attended the GreatSupper. The least in the kingdom are therefore invited. A great lesson.

  2. Dan MacDonald says:

    WOW! The listing here alone is a fine lesson/reminder. I have bookmarked it for reference until I receive my book!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: