To make progress in the practice of
virtue, it is of great advantage to have a friend, whom you yourself have
chosen, to advise you of your faults [AS 782, no. 561].
~ 27 ~
Although we are obliged to avoid all
that is evil, still we must be especially on our guard against that to which
our nature is most inclined, for it is precisely from that source that our
ruin will come if we do not exercise vigilant care over ourselves [AS
782, no. 561].
~ 28 ~
When charity and courtesy are
superficial, then it is neither charity nor courtesy but deceit and vanity [Bart.
~ 29 ~
In our dealings with others, we ought to
speak little but listen much, and when we do speak our few words should be
spoken as if the whole world were listening and not just one individual [Bart.
~ 30 ~
I desire for you the joy and full
consolation of soul that I desire for myself, and I sympathize with you in
your trials. . .but I consider this a very special gift of God our Lord for He
is providing you with an occasion to practice patience, as well as faith and
hope in Him [Ep. 6:161].
~ 31 ~
Many holy men, though they may be
endowed with little natural talent, preach by good and virtuous example rather
than words, and accomplish much more than those who preach eloquent sermons [Bart.
~ 32 ~
Never call notice to the defects of
others, but be always ready to excuse them; on the other hand, be most prompt
to accuse yourself of your own defects [Ep. 12:679].
~ 33 ~
God inspires His chosen ones not only
with a desire for heaven, but also with a dislike for earth [Ep.
~ 34 ~
We should praise all the laws of the
Church, keeping our minds ever ready to seek reasons to defend them and not to
oppose them [Spir. Exer., "Rules for Thinking with the
~ 35 ~
I must remind you to frequent the
sacraments, to read spiritual books, and to pray with as much recollection as
you possibly can. Every day set aside some time so that the soul will not be
without its food and, thus, you will not be induced to complain like the one
who said "My heart has withered because I have forgotten to eat my
bread" (Psalm 102:4) [Ep. 6:524].
~ 36 ~
If you endeavor to resign yourself into
the hands of Christ our Lord by totally conforming your own will to His. . .I
do not doubt that your trials, for the most part, will come to an end, and
that you will grow stronger, not only better to endure them but to view them
as unimportant matters [Ep. 6:161-162].
~ 37 ~
To avoid condemning the actions of our
neighbors, we must appeal to their intentions, which are oftentimes innocent,
though their actions do appear guilty [Bart. 2:269].
~ 38 ~
If God sends you much suffering, it is a
sure sign that He wishes to make you a great saint. If you desire to be a
saint, then also desire to suffer much [Bart. 2:257].
~ 39 ~
If there be any way of avoiding trials
and affliction of mind in this world, it is by forcing ourselves into complete
conformity with God's will. If God has full possession of our heart, then we
will never lose Him without our willing it [Ep. 6:224].
~ 40 ~
The love that impels me to give alms
should come from on high, that is, from the love of God our Lord, so that the
greater or the lesser love I have for these individuals is for the sake of God
[Spir. Exer., "Rules for Almsgiving"].
~ 41 ~
When I serve those who are servants of
my Lord, I realize that I am at the same time serving the Lord of all [Ep.
~ 42 ~
True confession of sins requires three
elements, namely, contrition in the heart, confession on the lips, and
satisfaction in deeds [Ep. 12:666].
~ 43 ~
Satisfying God is much more important
than satisfying men. But it is not all that necessary to wear yourself out
with fatigue; just put forth an honest effort and leave the rest to Him who
can do whatever He pleases [Ep. 10:156].
~ 44 ~
Love is to be found much more in deeds
than in words [Spir. Exer., "Contemplation for Obtaining
~ 45 ~
The more the soul detaches itself from
outside interests and remains in solitude, the better fitted it is to seek and
unite itself to its Creator and Lord [Spir. Exer.,
"Annotations" no. 20].
~ 46 ~
Bodily penances should not be excessive,
but let prudence regulate your abstinence, night vigils, and other penitential
actions, since these could bring injury to your health and hinder the greater
good [Cons., part 3, chap. 2, no. 5].
~ 47 ~
Just as men of the world, who follow the
spirit of the world, assiduously seek honor, fame, and a great name on earth—as
the world teaches them—so those who are advancing in the spiritual life and
who truly follow Christ should love and greatly desire the opposite [Gen.
Exam., chap. 4, no. 44].
~ 48 ~
As long as God visits you with illness,
accept it from His hand as a most precious gift coming from the wisest and
most loving of fathers and physicians [Ep. 6:586].
~ 49 ~
I ask and implore you, by the love and
reverence you have for God our Lord, to make every devout effort to honor,
support and serve His only-begotten Son, Christ our Lord, in so great a work
as the Blessed Sacrament, in which His Divine Majesty is present both in His
divinity and His humanity, so wonderfully and so entirely, so powerfully and
so infinitely, as He is present in heaven. . .I am firmly persuaded and I
believe that by so acting you will make considerable spiritual progress [Ep.