Fr. George Preca, a mature and saintly priest at the age of sixty-seven, in 1947, wrote this book with a deep passion for sharing the experience of Jesus with others. The book serves as a manual for imitating Christ, reflecting the very essence of Fr. Preca’s spiritual life. Through ninety-one steps, originally called “passus,” the author guides readers in putting on the spirit of Christ, shedding the old self in the process. The book’s approach is both deep and practical, moving from basic Christian virtues to a profound acquisition of Christ’s spirit.
Fr. Preca draws on the Bible, particularly the New Testament, and the wisdom of spiritual masters in the Church to support his arguments. The writing style is flowing, with concise expressions of Fr. Preca’s deep thoughts. The reader is encouraged to meditate slowly to grasp the concentrated wisdom of the author, who repeats basic truths in various ways to reinforce them.
The concluding chapters summarize the key points discussed earlier, leading to a climax with a masterful analysis of Jesus’ physiognomy and attitudes. The conclusion then brings together the main focus of thought. While some parts of the book reflect the theological and spiritual influences on Fr. Preca, the overall effect is described as salutary, demanding, and enriching. The hope is that readers will, to some degree, experience St. Paul’s words: “I live now not with my own life but with the life of Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
The following is Chapter 2 of The Sanctuary of Christ’s Spirit:
Lord God, You are here. I am in You: fill me with the spirit of Christ Jesus, my Master.
Anyone who wants to enjoy God’s peace, and who wants to serve and to glorify God, needs do nothing else but strive to develop and preserve Christ’s spirit within oneself. St Paul taught clearly that whoever does not possess Christ’s spirit would not belong to Him (Rm 8,9).
And if anyone does not belong to Christ, to whom can one belong? Christ said that whoever is not for Him is against Him (Mt 12,30). Therefore, one would be with Satan, Christ’s adversary, the true destroyer of all Truth and Justice.
Chriıst offers an eternal kingdom of happiness, while that of Satan is marked by an eternal reign of weeping and great suffering. To be for Christ, you need to practise a spirit of self-denial and patience. To be on Satan’s side is to let yourself have all satisfactions of flesh and blood.
Let us take great care, with diligence and fervour, to be filled with Christ’s spirit so that we are really for Christ.
And whoever does not want to belong to Christ, let him remember that at death, which takes place only only once, he will have to reap what he has sowed by his sinning.
Devout Christian, cherish silence; break it only for good motives.