Liguori – Prayer is the Font from which God’s Grace Flows, but How Few Partake of It! July 26, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, reading, religious, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Victory, Virtue.
Probably the last excerpt from The Holy Eucharist, as I am wrapping up at present. From pp. 483-495, in small segments, some advice on making prayer the focal point of our lives, and turning away from created goods, which have the tendency to separate our focus and concern from God. Also, our prayers are not only vital to our own progress in the spiritual life, but are the foundation of all charity for others, including their spiritual conversion:
…..The Almighty complains that many souls go about seeking for fleeting and miserable pleasures from creatures, and leave Him, Who is the infinite good and fountain of all joy……..Wherefore God, Who loves us, and desires to see us happy, cries out and makes known to all: “If any thirst, let them come to me” (Jnm vii:37). He who desires to be happy, let him come to Me; and I will give him the Holy Ghost, who will make him blessed both in this life and the next…….He, therefore, that believes in Jesus Christ, and loves Him, shall be enriched with so much grace, that form his heart (the heart, that is, the will), shall flow many fountains of holy virtues, which shall not only serve to preserve his own life, but also to give life to others. And this water was the Holy Ghost, the substantial love which Jesus Christ promised to send us from Heaven after His Ascension…….
..The key which opens the channels of this blessed water is holy prayer, which obtains every good for us in virtue of the promise, Ask and you shall receive (Jn xvi:24). We are blind, poor, and weak; but prayer obtains for us light, strength, and abundance of Grace. Theodoret said: “Prayer, though but one, can do all things.” He who prays receives all he wishes. God desires to give us His graces; but he will have us pray for them…….
…….A quarter hour’s prayer is sufficient to appease every passion of hatred or of inordinate love, however ardent it may be……..Holy meditation is where love is set in order, so that we love our neighbor as ourselves, and God above everything. He who loves God loves prayer; and he that loves not prayer will find it morally impossible to overcome his passions………..
……The more we love God, the more holy do we become. St. Francis Borgia says that it is prayer that introduces divine love into the human heart; and it is mortification that withdraws the heart from the earth, and renders t capable of receiving this holy fire. The more there is of earth in the heart, the less room there is for holy love……Hence the Saints have always sought to mortify as much as possible their self-love and their senses. The Saints are few, but we must live with the few, if we will be saved with the few; “Live with the few,” writes St. John Climacus, “if you would reign with the few.” And St. Bernard says :”That cannot be perfect which is not singular.” He would lead a perfect life must lead a singular life.
But before all, in order to become saints, it is necessary to have the desire to be saints; we must have the desire and the resolution! Some are always desiring, but they never begin to put their hands to the work. “Of these irresolute souls,” says St. Teresa, “the devil has no fear.” On the other hand, the Saint said, “God is a friend of generous souls.” The devil tries to make it appear to us to be pride to think of doing great things for God. It would indeed be pride in us, if we thought of doing them, trusting in our own strength; but it is not pride to resolve to become saints, trusting in God, and saying, “I can do all things in Him who strengeneth me” (Phil iv:13).
We must, therefore, be go good courage, make strong resolutions, and begin. Prayer can do everything. What we cannot do by our own strength, we shall do easily with the help of God, Who has promised to give us whatever we ask of Him. You shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you” (Jn xv:7).
Nothing exactly unheard of before, but well said and well worth hearing over and over, if you’re anything like me. I can’t recall any time I’ve sat down and read Liguori and come away saying: “Well, I didn’t really learn anything there.” I always do. He, Thomas a Kempis, St. Bernard, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Teresa or Avila are probably my favorite spiritual readers, but Liguori tends to be the most quotable.