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