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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori’s Rule of Life, part 1 August 19, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, religious, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.

This Rule of Life forms the conclusion of Volume II of the great Moral Doctor’s Ascetical Works, The Way of Salvation and Perfection.  I’ve just about finished one volume of those works.  Only two dozen left to go!

Part 1 of the Rule of Life today. God willing, I will highlights from the remainder over the next few days.

On rising in the morning make the following acts:

  1. “O my God! I adore Thee! I love Thee with my whole heart, and thank Thee for all Thy benefits, particularly for having preserved me this night.”
  2. “I offer to Thee all that I shall do or suffer throughout the day, in union with all the actions and sufferings of Jesus and Mary, intending to gain all the indulgences in my power.”
  3. I purpose, O Lord! to avoid this day every offence against Thee; but do Thou extend Thy protecting hand over me, that I may not betray Thee. Most Holy Mary, take me under thy protection. My angel guardian and patron saints, assist me.”

Then say one Pater Noster, on Ave Maria, and one Credo, followed by three more Ave’s in honor of the purity of the Blessed Virgin.

Take care to make half an hour’s meditation as soon as possible in the day. [I have many prayers and readings I do in the morning, but I do not meditate. I usually do that later in the day.  I pray I may find the time in the morning!] For though meditation is not St Gerardo Mariaabsolutely necessary, it is morally necessary, in order to gain the grace of perseverence. Those who neglect it will find it very difficult to persevere in the Grace of God.  The reasons for this are twofold: the first is, because the eternal truths cannot be seen by the eyes of the flesh, but by the eye of the understanding, which is reflection……..The second reason is because the soul that does not practice meditation will also be backward to practice prayer. Now, prayer is necessary, not merely as a precept, but as a means to observe the commandments, since as a general rule, and speaking of adults, God only give His Grace to those who ask for it. But without meditation a person has a very faint notion of his own spiritual wants, and he is moreover but slightly impressed with the necessity of praying, in order to overcome temptations and to save his soul; thus he is led to pray but little or nothing, and for want of prayer is eventually lost………. [And yet, meditation is so little stressed to Catholics.  Very few Catholics even offer any rudimentary prayers every day, let alone engage in meditation.  But, as the great Saint says, obtaining salvation without a deep interior/prayer life is very difficult, and having a deep prayer life without meditation is also very rare.  I know many traditional priests greatly stress the need to meditate, even if you start 19-08-St John Eudes Sidebarwith only a few minutes a day.  Don’t buy modern books on meditation, they are likely to be infected with modernism and new agism!  Meditate on good, holy, spiritual books, preferably those published, originally, well before 1900.  Most books by TAN are OK, or Lepanto, Loreto, and Angelus Press.]

With regard to practice, meditation has three parts: preparation, consideration, and conclusion.  In the preparation must be made three acts: 1. of the presence of God; 2, of humility, 3, of petition for light. We say, “1, My God, I believe Thou art here present, and I adore Thee,” “2, I deserve at this momment to be burning in hell. O my God, I am sorry for having offended Thee!,” “3, Eternal Father, for the love of Jesus and Mary, grant me light in this meditation, that I may profit by it.”  Then say a Hail Mary to the Divine Mother, and a Glory Be, in honor of our angel guardian. Then read the point of meditation, and be sure, at least occasionally, to meditate on the Passion of Jesus Christ. [Although not explicitly stated here, St. Alphonsus recommends basing your meditation on some spiritual reading. Such is, in fact, the point of all his Ascetical works – to provide material for meditation.  If one wereBlessed Francis Xavier Seelos to meditate based on these, one would have a truly rewarding interior life.]  It must also be understood that the fruit of prayer does not so much consist in meditating, but rather in producing affections – for instance, of humility, confidence, love, sorrow, resignation, and the like – in making petitions, and especially imploring God to grant us perseverence and His Holy Love, and in making the resolution to avoid some particular sin, and of practicing some particular virtue. [I must admit, my meditations tend towards the latter]

Finally, the conclusion is made thus: “I thank Thee, O God, for the lights thou has given me, I purpose to keep the resolutions I have made, and I beg They Grace to fulfill them.” Nor must we ever forget to recommend to God the holy souls in Purgatory, and all poor sinners. We must never omit our accustomed meditation, whatever coldness and weariness we may feel over it, for as St. Teresa of Jesus says “to do so would be to cast ourselves into hell with our own hands.” Benedict XIV granted a plenary indulgence to every one who makes a meditation of at least one quarter hour very day for a month, with Confession, Communion, and prayers to the intention of the Church, and partial indulgences are granted every day to those who meditate. This indulgence is applicable to the souls in Purgatory.

Dominus vobiscum!


photos of Redemptorists in action via Transalpine Redemptorists


1. Catholic4Life - August 19, 2013

Reblogged this on Catholic4Life.

2. john - August 19, 2013

This one takes dedication, brother. Im almost complete

3. Raul De La Garza III (@raul_delagarza) - August 19, 2013

A good priest of whom we both know recommended to me a book on the Teresian way as detailed in the book entitled, “Conversation with Christ: The Teaching of St. Teresa of Avila about Personal Prayer”

I need to find and re-read this little book.

tantamergo - August 19, 2013

That is a good TAN book. I have it, but haven’t read it yet.

4. TG - August 20, 2013

Thanks for the good post. Meditation is something I am trying to do. I say the rosary and try to mediate while saying it but I felt I needed to go deeper than just reciting prayers. I try to change my prayers too. I can only mediate if I read something. Right now I’m reading “The Imitatiion of Christ”. Is that what meditation is – reflecting on what I read and how it relates to my spiritual life? You’re right about not being taught to meditate. In Catholic school, I don’t recall being taught about meditation. I’ve always considered it New Age until I started reading Catholic spiritual books.

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