Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ

We have here one of the masterpieces of St. Alphonsus, a book that speaks to all hearts, that reveals to every Christian soul its true wants and the true means to satisfy them. One cannot read this book without becoming better; nor can one grow tired in reading it again and again. It is indeed a very highly-prized and widely-spread work. It was published in 1768. (Tannoia, B. 3, ch. 41, 42.)

The holy bishop, developing the celebrated text of St. Paul on the qualities of true charity, explains in thirteen chapters the principal virtues that we ought to practise and the defects that we ought to avoid in order to render to our Lord love for love. He treats of patience in general (Chap. I.), and in particular in sicknesses, poverty, and contempt (Chap. X.); of meekness (Chaps. II. and VIII.); of purity of intention (Chap. III.); of tepidity, and the remedies against this vice, namely, the desire of perfection, the determination to attain perfection, mental prayer, frequent communion, and prayer (Chap. IV.); of humility (Chap. V.); of ambition and vain-glory (Chap. VI.); of detachment from all things, especially when there is question of following one’s vocation (Chap. VII.); of conformity to the will of God, and of obedience (Chap. IX.); of faith (Chap. XI.); of hope (Chap. XII.); and, finally, of temptations, and spiritual desolation (Chap. XIII.). The work is concluded by a summary of virtues that are to be practised.

— Rev. Eugene Grimm C.SS.R.


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