Spiritual Instructions for Religious

Createspace Independent Pub, 16 de mar. de 2013 - 276 páginas
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St. Alphonsus Liguori has stated that one of the clearest tokens that a person is on the way to eternal happiness is an eagerness to hear the word of God. The writer of these instructions has uniformly found, during the experience of many years, that this excellent disposition exists in a high degree of perfection among the inmates of our convents. And yet very many of those devout souls are so situated that for months they cannot hear any religious instruction, at least not such discourses as apply the sacred truths of revelation to the peculiar needs of their holy vocation. It is to supply this want of oral addresses that these pages are respectfully presented; they are chiefly intended to be read in community, where a little effort of the imagination may suffice to produce about the same impression as if they were uttered by the lips of a priest of God.Let us consider this excerpt: “First then the nature of holiness. We will take as our instructor in this important matter our dear Lord Himself. He gave this great lesson for all future ages on the night before His sacred passion, when He discoursed for the last time in this life with His Apostles. Let us imagine that we are seated with them before the Divine teacher, treasuring up in our loving hearts every word that falls from His sacred lips. He spoke as follows; St. John, who was present, has recorded the very words: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he will take away; and everyone that beareth fruit, he will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit; for without me you can do nothing. If anyone abide not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch and shall wither, and they shall gather him up and cast him into the fire, and he burneth. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you. In this is my Father glorified that you bring forth very much fruit, and become my disciples" (XV, 18).” And this should show that these instructions, although written for religious apply to all Christians: “St. Teresa tells us clearly, in that remarkable autobiography which she wrote by the order of her confessor, that she was a very imperfect religious during nearly twenty years, and that she was converted by prayer. To quote her own words: "I wish," she writes, "that I could obtain leave to declare the many times I failed, during this period, in my obligations to God, because I was not supported by the strong pillar of mental prayer. I passed through this tempestuous sea almost twenty years, between these fallings and risings, (though I rose very imperfectly, since I fell again so quickly,) and in this kind of life, which was so far below perfection, I made almost no account of venial sins; and for mortal ones, I feared them, it is true, but not so much as I ought to have done, since I did not avoid the dangerous occasions. " And the Saint adds: "The reason why I have given this account is. . that it may be understood how great a blessing God bestows on that soul which He disposes to practise mental prayer with a good will, even though she were not SO well prepared for it as she should be. But if she perseveres therein, whatever sins she may commit, whatever temptations may be presented to her, or whatever falls she may receive in a thousand different ways from the devil, I consider it certain that our Lord will, in the end, bring her safe to the port of salvation. "”

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