Friday, March 02, 2018

On Mortification

It may be profitable to dwell for a moment on the advantages of mortification, for such a consideration is calculated to inspire us with more courage and generosity.  By mortification we may expiate the temporal punishment due to our sins.  We are aware of the fact that though the guilt of sin is remitted by a contrite Confession, there still remains a temporal punishment to be endured.  If in the present life we neglect to make atonement, we shall have to suffer in the fire of Purgatory.  "Except they do penance for their deeds," says Holy Scripture, "they shall be in a very great tribulation." (Apoc. 2:22).  St. Antonine relates that the choice was offered to a sick man (by his guardian angel) either to suffer three days in Purgatory or to remain two years longer on his sickbed.  The patient chose the three days in Purgatory.  He had hardly been there an hour when he complained to the angel that instead of a few days he had already spent several years in terrible torments.  "What is that you say," replied the angel; "your body is still warm on the deathbed, and you speak of years?"  If therefore, Christian soul, you have anything to suffer say to yourself:  This must be my Purgatory; I shall bear this suffering patiently to atone for my sins, and to gain merit for eternal life."

from The 12 Steps to Holiness and Salvation by St. Alphonsus Liguori

Thursday, March 01, 2018


You must endeavor to be mild and amiable to everyone, under all circumstances and at all times. There are many," says St. Bernard, "who are full of sweetness as long as things go their way; but when they meet with contradiction they break forth in fire and flames, and fume like a veritable Vesuvius. They are like the coals that glow beneath the ashes." He who desires to become a saint must live like a lily among thorns; it is always a lily no matter how much the thorns may prick it. In other words, he must always be meek and amiable. The exterior of a soul that loves God will reflect the peace that reigns within alike in prosperity and adversity. If we must answer one who offends us, let us do so with meekness."A mild answer breaketh wrath," says Holy Scripture. (Prov.15:1) If we are too excited, it is better to remain silent. In the heat of passion it seems right to say everything that comes to the tongue; but when anger has subsided we find we have committed as many faults as we have spoken words.
From the 12 Steps to Holiness and Salvation by St. Alphonsus Liguori

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

It is Always Better to Think Well of Others

"In our neighbor we must direct our attention to the good and not to the evil. And if it should happen that we deceive ourselves by regarding as good what in reality is bad, we need not be disturbed, for St. Augustine says, charity is not grieved when by mistake it attributes something good to one who is evil." - St. Jane de Chantal

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Loving God - Self Denial

In order to attain to the perfect love of God it is necessary, moreover, to deny oneself by gladly embracing what is opposed to self-love, and refusing oneself what self-love demands.  One day when St. Teresa was sick, they brought her a very palatable dish; the Saint would not touch it.  The attendant urged her to eat, saying that the dish was well-prepared.  "That's just the reason I abstain from eating it," replied the Saint.  And so with us; what pleases us most, in that we must deny ourselves, and just because it pleases us.  For example, we must turn our eyes away from this or that object because it is most agreeable to us; do a service to an ungrateful person just because he is ungrateful; take a bitter medicine just because it is bitter.  According to St. Francis de Sals, our self-love ants to have a share in everything even in things the most holy.  For this very reason, says the Saint, we must love even virtue without attachment.  For example, it is necessary to love prayer and solitude; but when obedience or charity prevent us from devoting ourselves to prayer and solitude we should not be disquieted, but accept resignedly everything that happens by the will of God to thwart our inclinations.

The 12 Steps to Holiness and Salvation by St. Alphonsus Liguori

Friday, February 16, 2018

3 Powerful Weapons Against the devil

According to Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, they are as follows:

1.  The Holy Name of Jesus.  Satan cannot stand His Holy Name because at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in Heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Philippians 2.9-10).

2.  The Blood of Christ.  Through the invocation of the Blood of Christ because without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.

3.  Our Blessed Mother.

The Devil - Venerable Fulton Sheen

Thursday, February 15, 2018

3 Things Necessary for Attaining Eternal Life

There are three things necessary for the attainment of eternal life: 

1.  the pardon of our sins;
2.  the victory over temptations,
3.  and the crown of all graces, a  holy death.

These three things are accordingly the objects of our hope.

- From the 12 Steps to Holiness and Salvation by St. Alphonsus Liguori

Growing in Virtue by Small, Sustained Mortifications

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Lenten Meditation - Being a True Follower of Christ

The following is an excerpt from The 12 Steps to Holiness and Salvation by St. Alphonsus Liguori. It is from the chapter on Faith.
This seems to be the place to correct a false impression that is very prevalent. There are many who imagine that a life in harmony with the precepts of our holy faith must necessarily be a sad and joyless life. The devil pictures our holy religion to them as a tyrant who imposes only burdens and cares upon her children, forces them to constant renunciation and interdicts the gratification of every desire. There is no doubt that for those whose only desire is to satisfy their sensual cravings, a life in accordance with holy faith has little that is attractive. "They that are Christ's," says the Apostle, "have crucified their flesh with the vices and concupiscences.' (Gal. 5:24)
The law of Jesus Christ commands us to battle against our inordinate inclinations, to love our enemies, to mortify our body, to be patient in adversities and to place all our hope in the life to come. But all this does not make the life of the truly faithful a sad and sorrowful one. The religion of Jesus Christ says to us, as it were: Come and unite yourselves to Me; I will lead you along a path which to the bodily eyes seems rough and hard to climb, but to those of good will is easy and agreeable. You seek peace and pleasure? Well and good! Which peace is to be preferred? That which when scarcely tasted, disappears and leaves the heart replete with bitterness, or that which will rejoice and satiate you for all eternity? You strive for honors? Very well! Which do you prefer, that empty honor that disappears like a puff of smoke, or that true and genuine honor which will one day glorify you before the whole world? Ask those who lead a life of faith if the renunciation of this world's goods makes them sad! Visit the holy anchorite Paul in his grotto, St. Francis of Assisi on Mount Alverno, St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi in her convent and ask them if they miss the joys and pleasures of this earth! They will answer without hesitation: No, no; we desire but God alone and nothing else..."