Liguori on Resolution towards Perfection May 18, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, mortification, Restoration, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
From Saint Alphonsus Liguori’s The Holy Eucharist is a treatise on remedies against lukewarmness in the Faith and steps to take in the path to perfection. The five steps are:
- The desire of perfection
- The resolution to attain it
- Mental prayer
- Frequent Holy Communion
The segment below deals with Resolution towards perfection, as the title of the post indicates:
The second means of perfection is the resolution to belong wholly to God. Many are called to perfection; they are urged on towards it by grace, they conceive a desire of it; but because they never really resolve to acquire it, they live and die in the ill-odor of their tepid and imperfect life. [I should insert my picture here] The desire of perfection is not enough, if it be not followed up by a stern resolve to attain it. How many souls feed themselves on desires alone, but never make withal one step in the way of God! It is of such desires that the wise man speaks when he says: Desires kill the slothful (Prov xxi:25). The slothful man is ever desiring, but never resolves to take the means suitable to his state of life to become a saint. He says: “Oh, if I were but in solitude, and not in this house! Oh, if I could but go and reside in a monastery, I would give myself entirely up to God!” And meanwhile he cannot support a certain companion; he cannot put up with a word of contradiction; he is dissipated among many useless cares; he commits a thousand faults of gluttony, of curiosity, and of pride; and yet he sighs out to the wind: “Oh, if I had but!” or “Oh, if i could but!” etc. [Am I the only one to whom this sounds uncomfortably familiar?]
Such desires to more harm than good; because some regale themselves upon them, and in the meantime go on leading a life of imperfection. It was a saying of St. Francis de Sales: “I do not approve of a person who, being engaged in some duty or vocation, stops to sigh for some other kind of life than that which is compatible with his actual position, or for other exercises unfitted for his present state; for it merely serves to dissipate his heart, and makes him languish in his necessary duties……
……..The first resolution [on the path of perfection] must be to make every effort, and to die rather than commit any deliberate sin whatever, however small it may be. It is true that all our endeavors, without the divine assistance, cannot enable us to vanquish temptations; but God wishes us on our part frequently to use this violence with ourselves, because then he will afterward supply us with His Grace, will succor our weakness, and enable us to gain the victory. This resolution removes from us every obstacle to our going forward, and at the same time gives us great courage, because it affords us an assurance of being in the Grace of God. St. Francis de Sales writes: “The best security we can possess in this world of being in the Grace of God, consists not indeed in feeling that we have His love, but in a pure and irrevocable abandonment of our entire being into His hands, and in the firm resolution of never consenting to any sin, either great or small.” This is what is meant by being of a delicate conscience…….[Which quote simply obliterates protestantism and post-conciliar “Catholicism,” with its focus on emotion and feelings. Feelings can lie. Emotion is rarely a reliable guide. Reason and submission to the Truth, by concrete act, is the only way to demonstrate our faith.]
…….St. Teresa said: “Because we do not come to the conclusion of giving all our affection to God, so neither does He give all His love to us.”
I pray you found this useful. I rather prefer posting this kind of material of late, rather than the more controversial stuff. I still do it, but not with the fervor I did even a few months ago. As much as I oppose this pontificate and the direction it is taking the Church, I can’t get over a certain discomfort in doing so. I rather prefer to try to spread the Truth more positively, by this method, than negatively, by opposing the smashed debris of errors surrounding the leaking and listing Barque of Peter these days. I sorely pray God would have mercy on His Church, whatever remnant remains, and take away this affliction from us, but it may not be His will to do so.
So I pray for the strength to endure it. This material also hopes with that.