Wednesday, August 01, 2018

St. Alphonsus Liguori

Today is the feast of St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori, CSsR, Doctor of the Church. From his work, Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ:

Whoever desires to love Jesus Christ with his whole heart must banish from his heart all that is not God, but is merely self-love....And this is what God requires of us all, when he says, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart. Two things are needful to love God with our whole heart: 1. To clear it of earth. 2. To fill it with holy love. It follows, that a heart in which any earthly affections linger can never belong wholly to God....In the next place, how must the earth be purged away form the heart? Truly by mortification and detachment from creatures. Some souls complain that they seek God, and do not find him; let them listen to what St. Teresa says: "Wean your heart from creatures, and seek God, and you will find him."

The mistake is, that some indeed wish to become saints, but after their own fashion; they would love Jesus Christ, but in their own way, without forsaking those diversions, that vanity of dress, those delicacies in food: they love God, but if they do not succeed in obtaining such-and-such office, they live discontented; if, too, they happen to be touched in a point of esteem, they are all on fire; if they do not recover from an illness, they lose all patience. They love God; but they refuse to let go that attachment for the riches, the honors of the world, for the vainglory of being reckoned of good family, of great learning, and better than others. Such as these practise prayer, and frequent Holy Communion; but inasmuch as they take with them hearts full of earth, they derive little profit. Our Lord does not even speak to them, for he knows that it is but a waste of words....

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