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Title: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on August 24, 2015, 07:28:00 PM
 chapter 1

The First Motive which obliges us to practice Virtue and to serve God

     His Being in itself, and the excellence of His perfections


The design of this book being to win men to virtue, we shall begin by showing our obligation to practice virtue because of the duty we owe to God. God, being essentially goodness and beauty, there is nothing more pleasing to Him than virtue, nothing He more earnestly requires.
Let us first seriously consider upon what grounds God demands this tribute from us.

But as these are innumerable, we shall only treat of the six principal motives which claim for God all that man is or all that man can do. The first; the greatest and the most inexplicable is the very essence of God, embracing His infinite majesty, goodness, mercy, justice, wisdom, omnipotence, excellence, beauty, fidelity, immutability, sweetness, truth, beatitude, and all the inexhaustible riches and perfections which are contained in the Divine Being.


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Shin on August 25, 2015, 12:04:08 AM
The goodness and beauty of God and virtue..






Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on August 25, 2015, 06:13:57 PM
  .....we shall furnish some considerations from the mystical theology of St. Denis which will help them to apprehend the perfections of the Master they serve.

To lead us to a knowledge of God, St. Denis teaches us first to turn our eyes from the qualities or perfections of creatures, lest we be tempted to measure by them the perfections of the Creator. Then, turning from things of the earth, he raises our souls to the contemplation of a Being above all beings, A Substance above all substances, a Light above all lights - rather  a Light before which all light is darkness.




This is what we are taught by the cloud into which Moses entered to converse with God, and which shut out from his senses all that was not God (Ex.24:16,18). And the action of Elias, covering his face with his cloak when he saw the glory of God passing before him, is a lively expression of the same sentiment. Therefore, to contemplate the glory of God, man must close his eyes to earthly beings, which bear no proportion to this supreme being.



There is so much in this book, I may be a little rough in how I choose passages,
 the "they " in the first paragraph refers to the sinners for whom this book was written so that would be...all of us!   


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Shin on August 25, 2015, 06:18:39 PM
That's fine, you know some of this material might just be good for Saints' Quotes, so I think I'll take some of it for that database -- these extracts are really going to be widely appreciated. :D

Thanks again whiterockdove! Deo gratias et Mariae semper Virgini!


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on August 26, 2015, 06:09:11 PM
You are so welcome!  I will be able to post a lot more when the snow flys.

An early cool down and brutal winter forecast for the Midwest so that means lots of reading and writing
in between shoveling, wrestling the snow thrower,  bringing in wood and animal care.

Not a bad way to pass a snowy winter...



Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on August 26, 2015, 09:59:29 PM
     We shall better understand this truth if we consider with more attention the vast difference between this uncreated Being and all other beings, between the Creator and His creatures.  The latter without exception have had a beginning and may have an end, while this eternal being is without beginning and without end. 

We find in all creatures diversities which distinguish them one from another, but the purity of God's essence admits of no distinction; so that His being is His Essence, His Essence is His Power, His Power is His Will, His Will is His Understanding, His understanding is His being, His Being is His Wisdom, His Wisdom is His Justice, His Justice is His Mercy. And though the last tow attributes are differently manifested, the duty of mercy being to pardon, that of justice to punish, yet they are one and the same power.


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Shin on August 27, 2015, 01:42:17 AM
Winter.. speaking of winter already... part of me says, 'It's too soon!' the other part of me says, 'How refreshing to think of winter when I still have to use the A/C.'


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Shin on August 27, 2015, 01:43:06 AM
     We shall better understand this truth if we consider with more attention the vast difference between this uncreated Being and all other beings, between the Creator and His creatures.  The latter without exception have had a beginning and may have an end, while this eternal being is without beginning and without end. 

We find in all creatures diversities which distinguish them one from another, but the purity of God's essence admits of no distinction; so that His being is His Essence, His Essence is His Power, His Power is His Will, His Will is His Understanding, His understanding is His being, His Being is His Wisdom, His Wisdom is His Justice, His Justice is His Mercy. And though the last tow attributes are differently manifested, the duty of mercy being to pardon, that of justice to punish, yet they are one and the same power.

How splendidly deep and enlightening!


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on August 29, 2015, 12:36:12 AM
     Know, therefore, you who aspire to a knowledge of God, that He is a Being superior to anything you can conceive. The more sensible you are of your inability to comprehend Him, the more you will have advanced in a knowledge of His being. Thus, St. Gregory, commenting on these words of Job: "Who doth great things and unsearchable and wonderful things without number" (Job 5:9), says, "We never more eloquently praise the works of the Almighty than when our tongue is mute in rapt wonder; silence is the only adequate praise when words are powerless to express the perfections we would extol.

St. Denis also tells us to honor with mute veneration, and a silence full of love and fear, the wonders and glory of God, before whom the most sublime intelligences are prostrate. The holy  Doctor seems to allude here to the words of the prophet as translated by St. Jerome, "Praise is mute before thee, God of Sion" giving us to understand, doubtless, that the most adequate praise is a modest and respectful silence springing from the conviction of our inability to comprehend God.

...St. Augustine has said with much beauty and force, "When I seek my God, I seek not corporal grace, nor transient beauty, nor splendor, no melodious sounds, nor sweet fragrance of flowers, nor odorous essence, nor honeyed manna, nor grace of form, nor anything pleasing to the flesh.  But I seek a light exceeding  all light, which the eyes cannot see; a voice sweeter than all sound, which the ear cannot hear; a sweetness above all sweetness which the tongue cannot taste; a fragrance above all fragrance which the senses cannot perceive; a mysterious and divine embrace which the body cannot feel. For this light shines without radiance, this voice is heard without striking the air, this fragrance is perceived though the wind does not bear it, this taste inebriates with no palate to relish it, and this embrace is felt in the center of the soul." (Conf., L.10, 6,Solil., c. 31)


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Shin on August 31, 2015, 01:33:40 AM
A great extract for helping meditation!


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on August 31, 2015, 11:54:07 PM
I like how he uses saints quotes. I didn't realize what a gold mine of quotes it was until I got into the text.
I feel like a kid in a candy store looking through this book :D


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Shin on September 01, 2015, 12:35:48 AM
I know just that feeling!

 :rejoice: :tinyangel: :kanpai:


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on September 01, 2015, 12:49:30 AM
     If you would have further proof of the infinite power and greatness of God, contemplate the order and beauty of the world. Let us first bear in mind, as St. Denis tells us, that effects are proportioned to their cause, and then consider the admirable order, marvelous beauty, and incomprehensible grandeur of the universe.

And this vast and majestic universe God created in a single instant, according to the opinion of St. Augustine and St. Clement of Alexandria; from nothing He drew being, without matter or element, instrument or model, unlimited by time or space. He created the whole world and all that is contained therein by a single act of His will. And He could as easily have created millions of worlds greater, more beautiful, and more populous than ours, and could as easily reduce them again to nothing.

St. Thomas, in his Summa Theologica , endeavors by the following argument to give us some idea of the immensity of God; We see, he tells us, that in material things that which excels inn perfection, also excels in quantity.

Thus we begin to understand, in some manner, what are the perfections of God, since they cannot but be in proportion to His being. For, as we read in Ecclesiasticus, "According to His greatness, so also is His mercy with Him." (Ecclus. 2:23) Nor are any of His other attributes less. Hence He is infinitely good, and, therefore, infinitely worthy to be obeyed, feared, and reverenced by all creatures.

How great, then, is our obligation to love God, had He no other title to our love and service! What can he love who does not love such Goodness?  What can he fear who does not fear this infinite Majesty? Whom will he serve who refuses to serve such a master? And why was our will given to us, if not to embrace and love God?

It is almost incredible that the malice and blindness of man can go so far; but yet, alas! How many there are who for a base pleasure, for an imaginary point of honor, for a vile and sordid interest, continually offend this  Sovereign.


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Therese on September 01, 2015, 01:19:34 AM
    If you would have further proof of the infinite power and greatness of God, contemplate the order and beauty of the world. Let us first bear in mind, as St. Denis tells us, that effects are proportioned to their cause, and then consider the admirable order, marvelous beauty, and incomprehensible grandeur of the universe.

And this vast and majestic universe God created in a single instant, according to the opinion of St. Augustine and St. Clement of Alexandria; from nothing He drew being, without matter or element, instrument or model, unlimited by time or space. He created the whole world and all that is contained therein by a single act of His will. And He could as easily have created millions of worlds greater, more beautiful, and more populous than ours, and could as easily reduce them again to nothing.

St. Thomas, in his Summa Theologica , endeavors by the following argument to give us some idea of the immensity of God; We see, he tells us, that in material things that which excels inn perfection, also excels in quantity.

Thus we begin to understand, in some manner, what are the perfections of God, since they cannot but be in proportion to His being. For, as we read in Ecclesiasticus, "According to His greatness, so also is His mercy with Him." (Ecclus. 2:23) Nor are any of His other attributes less. Hence He is infinitely good, and, therefore, infinitely worthy to be obeyed, feared, and reverenced by all creatures.

How great, then, is our obligation to love God, had He no other title to our love and service! What can he love who does not love such Goodness?  What can he fear who does not fear this infinite Majesty? Whom will he serve who refuses to serve such a master? And why was our will given to us, if not to embrace and love God?

It is almost incredible that the malice and blindness of man can go so far; but yet, alas! How many there are who for a base pleasure, for an imaginary point of honor, for a vile and sordid interest, continually offend this  Sovereign.

I've read in St. Augustine's Confessions that he believes that the universe was created in an instant.  We'll have to wait until the next life to find out if he is correct. 


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on September 03, 2015, 11:27:18 PM
Here, then, is the first motive which obliges us to love and serve God. This is an obligation so great that compared to it, all obligations to creatures, whatever their excellence or perfections, are only  obligations in name. For as the perfections of creatures are mere imperfections compared with the perfections of God, so the obligations resulting therefrom cannot with justice be considered obligations when contrasted with those which we owe God. Nor can our offenses against the creatures be regarded as offense, excecpt in name, when we remember the guilt we have incurred by our many sins against God.

     For this reason David cried out, "Against thee only, O God, have I sinned (Ps. 50:6), though he had sinned against Urias, whom he murdered; against the wife of Urias, whom he dishonored; and against his subjects, whom he scandalized. The penitent king knew his offenses against creatures, notwithstanding their different degrees of deformity, could not equal the enormity of his revolt against God. For God being infinite, our obligations toward Him and our offenses against Him are, in a measure, infinite.



Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on September 03, 2015, 11:49:08 PM
The Second Motive Which Obliges us to Practice Virtue and to Serve God

Gratitude for our Creation

     We are obliged to practice virtue and keep God's commandments not only because of what God is in Himself, but because of what He is to us, because of His innumerable benefits to us.
     The first of these benefits is our creation, which obliges man to give himself wholly to the service of his Creator, for in justice he stands indebted to Him for all he has received; and since he has received his body with all its senses, and his soul with all its faculties, he is obliged to employ them in the service of his Creator, or incur the guilt of theft and ingratitude towards his generous Benefactor.

He himself complains of this ingratitude by the mouth of His prophet: "The son honoreth the father, and the servant his master: if, then, I be a father, where is my honor? And if I be a master,where is my fear?" (Mal 1:6)  Another servant of God, filled with indignation at like ingratitude, exclaims, "Is this the return thou makest to The Lord, O foolish and senseless people? Is not he thy father, that hath possessed thee, and made thee, and created thee?" (Deut. 32:6) This reproach is addressed to those who never raise their eyes to Heaven to consider what God is, who never look upon themselves in order to know themselves. Knowing nothing, therefore, of their origin ort the end for which they are created, they live as though they themselves with the authors of their being.

This was the crime of the unfortunate king of Egypt to whom God said, "Behold, I come against thee, Pharao, king of Egypt, thou great dragon that liest in the midst of they rivers and sayest: The river is mine and I made myself. (Ezech. 29:3) This is, at least practically, the language of those who act as though they were the principle of their own being, and who refuse to recognize any obligation to serve their own Maker.


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Shin on September 04, 2015, 12:28:49 AM
One of the secrets to happiness in life is gratitude.

Such a gift to know it is a secret of happiness. . .

I know I am grateful.

I know I wish to be more grateful and think and appreciate more..

I am grateful for these websites full of the saints and this spiritual family here and for all the gifts of God.  :D

  :+: :tinyangel: :flower: :littlepigeons: :fishie:


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on September 07, 2015, 11:01:46 PM
Yes, we don't fit to well in this world, do we.  But then again, I think that's the idea. We have, pardon the slang, "bigger fish to fry!"


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on September 07, 2015, 11:36:43 PM
     How different were the sentiments of St. Augustine, who by studying his origin was brought to the knowledge of Him from whom he had received his being!  "I returned to myself," he says, "and entered into myself, saying:  what art Thou? And I answered: A rational and mortal man.  And I began to examine what this was, and I said: O my Lord and my God, who has created so noble a creature as this? Who, O Lord, but Thou? Thou, O my God, hast made me! I have not made myself, What art Thou, Thou by whom I live and from whom all things receive being? Can anyone create himself or receive his being but from Thee? Art Thou not the source of all being, the fountain whence all life flows? For whatsoever has life lives by Thee, because nothing can live without Thee. It is Thou, O Lord, that hast made me, and without Thee nothing is made! Thou art my Creator, and I am Thy creature. I thank Thee, O my creator, because Thy hands have made and fashioned me! I thank thee, O my light, for having enlightened me and brought me to the knowledge of what Thou art and what I myself am!"


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on September 07, 2015, 11:50:58 PM
This, then, the first of God's benefits is the foundation of all the others, for all other benefits presuppose existence, which is given us at our creation, Let us now consider the acknowledgement God demands of us, for He is no less rigid in requiring our gratitude than He is magnificent in bestowing His benefits; and this is an additional proof of His love, for our gratitude results in no advantage to Him, but enables us to profit by he favors we have received, and this merit other graces from His infinite goodness.

Thus we read in the Old Testament that whenever He bestowed a favor upon His people, He immediately commanded them to keep it in remembrance.

The patriarchs of old were deeply sensible of this obligation of gratitude and therefore we read that whenever God bestowed upon them any special favor or blessing they evinced their gratitude by erecting altars to His name and by rearing other monuments to commemorate His mercies to them.

St. Augustine, speaking on this subject in one of his soliloquies days. "Man should think of God as often as he breathed; for his being is continuous and immortal, he should continually return thanks to the Author of his being."


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on September 10, 2015, 11:11:36 PM
     It is not only a motive of justice which obliges us to serve God, but our necessities force us to have recourse to Him if we would attain the perfection and happiness for which we were created.

     In order to understand this more clearly, let us call to mind the general principle that creatures are not born with all their perfections. There remain many to be cultivated and developed, and only He who has begun the work can perfect it. Things instinctively go back to their first cause for their development and perfection. Plants unceasingly seek the sun, and sink their roots deep into the earth where they were formed. Fishes will not leave the element where they were engendered. Chickens seek vivifying warmth and shelter beneath their mother's wings. In like manner a lamb, until it has attained it's strength, clings to the side of it's ewe, distinguishing her among a thousand of the same color, arguing, doubtless, with blind instinct, that it must seek what it lacks at the source whence it has received all that it is.


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Shin on September 11, 2015, 09:10:29 PM
Quote
Thus we read in the Old Testament that whenever He bestowed a favor upon His people, He immediately commanded them to keep it in remembrance.

The patriarchs of old were deeply sensible of this obligation of gratitude and therefore we read that whenever God bestowed upon them any special favor or blessing they evinced their gratitude by erecting altars to His name and by rearing other monuments to commemorate His mercies to them.

St. Augustine, speaking on this subject in one of his soliloquies days. "Man should think of God as often as he breathed; for his being is continuous and immortal, he should continually return thanks to the Author of his being."

If we do not swim in our proper waters it is no wonder we can't live the life we were created for!


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on September 11, 2015, 11:06:59 PM
     
     It is He alone who satisfies His creature and never fails him. With Him, the creature is content in poverty, rich in destitution, happy in solitude, and though despoiled of all possessions, yet master of all things. Hence, the wise man so justly says, "One is as it were rich, when he hath nothing: and another is as it were poor, when he hath great riches (Prov. 13:7) Rich indeed is the poor man who, like St. Francis of Assisi, has God for his inheritance, though owning naught else; but poor would he be who know not God, though he possessed the entire universe.

CHAPTER 3

The Third Motive which obliges us to serve God:

     Gratitude for our Preservation and for the Government of His Providence

     Another motive which obliges man to serve God is the benefit of preservation. God gave you being, and still preserves it to you, for you are as powerless to subsist without Him as you were incapable of coming into existence without Him. The benefit of preservation is not less than that of creation. It is even greater, for your creation was but a single act, while your preservation is a continuous manifestation of God's abiding love. If, then, your creation demands from you so great a return of gratitude, who can reckon the debt you owe for the gift of preservation? 


The goodness of this sovereign Being is so great, says St. Denis, that while creatures are offending Him and madly rebelling against His will, He continues to give them the power and strength which whey use to resist Him.

But a time will come when God's outraged patience shall be avenged, You have conspired against God. It is just that He should arm the universe against you, that all creatures should rise up against you to avenge their Creator. They who closed their eyes to the sweet light of His mercy while it still shone upon them and allured them by so many benefits will justly behold it when, too late for amendments, they shall be groaning under the severity of His justice.
     


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Shin on September 18, 2015, 06:51:44 AM
Quote
Another motive which obliges man to serve God is the benefit of preservation. God gave you being, and still preserves it to you, for you are as powerless to subsist without Him as you were incapable of coming into existence without Him. The benefit of preservation is not less than that of creation. It is even greater, for your creation was but a single act, while your preservation is a continuous manifestation of God's abiding love. If, then, your creation demands from you so great a return of gratitude, who can reckon the debt you owe for the gift of preservation?

This reminds me of one of the recent quotes of the day. How comforting it is to know God is always with us preserving us.


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on September 19, 2015, 10:08:49 PM
     Consider in addition to this benefit the rich and delightful banquet of nature prepared for you by your Creator, Everything in this world is for man's use, directly or indirectly.

Cast your eye upon this vast world, and behold the abundance of your possessions, the magnificence of your inheritance. All that move upon the earth or swim in the water, or fly in the air, or live under the sun are made for you.

Every creature is a benefit of God, the work of His providence, a ray of His beauty, a token of His mercy, a spark of His love, a voice which proclaims His magnificence, These are the eloquent messengers of God continually reminding you of your obligations to Him. "Everything," says St. Augustine,"in Heaven and on earth calls upon me to Love Thee, O Lord!  And the universe unceasingly exhorts all men to love Thee, that none may exempt themselves from this sweet law."

Oh! That you had ears to hear the voice of creatures appealing you to love God. Their expressive silence tells you that they were created to serve you, while yours is the sweet duty of praising your common Lord not only in your own name but in theirs also. I flood your days with light, the heavens declare, and your nights I illume with the soft radiance of my stars. By my different influences all nature bears fruit in season for your necessities.

     I sustain your breath, the air tells you;the gentle breezes I refresh you and temper your bodily heat. i maintain an almost infinite variety of birds to delight you with their beauty, to ravish you with their songs, and to feed you; with their flesh. I maintain for your nourishment innumerable fishes, the water exclaims. I water your lands, that they may give you their fruit in due season, I afford you an easy passage to distant countries' that you may add their riches to those of your own.

     This is the voice of all creatures. Will you be deaf to it? will you be insensible to so many benefits? You have been loaded with favors. Do not forget the debt you thence contract. Beware of the crime of ingratitude, Every creature, says Richard of St. Victor; addresses these three words to man: Receive, give, beware. Receive the benefit; give thanks for it; and beware of the punishment of ingratitude.


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Shin on September 20, 2015, 06:21:11 PM
You see how easily we can blind ourselves when we do not think of things as they truly are!


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on September 22, 2015, 12:41:06 AM
Chapter 4

The Fourth Motive which obliges us to practice virtue

   
Gratitude for the Inestimable Benefit of our Redemption



     Let us now consider the supreme benefit of divine love, the redemption of man. But I feel myself so unworthy, so unfitted to speak of such a mystery that I know not where to begin or where to leave off, or whether it were not better for me to be silent altogether. 

Did not man, in his lethargy need an incentive to virtue, better would it be to prostrate ourselves in mute adoration before the incomprehensible grandeur of the  mystery than vainly essay to explain it in imperfect human language. 


     Now, if all that we have said so inadequately expresses the single benefit of creation, how can we with any justice represent the supreme benefit of Redemption? By a single act of His will, God created the whole universe, diminishing thereby neither the treasures of His riches nor the power of His almighty arm. But to redeem the world He labored for thirty-three years by the sweat of His brow; He shed the last drop  of His blood, and suffered pain and anguish in all His senses and all His members. What mortal tongue can explain this ineffable mystery?


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on September 25, 2015, 03:50:30 PM
 








     Can we think of two beings more widely separated than God and the sinner? Yet where will we find two beings more closely united? "There is nothing," says St. Bernard, "more elevated than God, and nothing more base than the clay of which man is formed. Yet God has with such great humility clothed himself in this clay, and the clay has been so honorably raised to God, that we may ascribe to the clay all the actions of God, and to God all the sufferings of the clay." (Super Cant. Hom.59 et64).



     Tell me, O ye creatures, whether a greater benefit, a more generous favor, a more binding obligation can be conceived. Tell me, O ye celestial choirs, whether God has sone for you what He has done for us? Who, then, will refuse to give himself without reserve to the service of such a master?  "I thrice owe Thee all that I am, O my God!" Exclaims St. Anselm. "By my  creation, I owe Thee all that I am. Thou hast confirmed this debt by redeeming me; and by promising to be my eternal reward, Thou dost compel me to give myself wholly to Thee. Why, then, do I not give myself to One who has such a just claim to my service? Oh! Insupportable ingratitude!, Oh! Invincible hardness of the human heart, which will not be softened by such benefits! Metals yield to fire, iron is made flexible in the forge; and diamonds are softened by the blood of certain animals.  But Oh! Heart more insensible than stone, harder than iron, more adamant than the diamond, wilt thou not be moved by the fires of Hell, or by the benefits of the tenderest of Fathers, or by the Blood of the spotless Lamb, immolated for love of thee?"


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Shin on September 28, 2015, 07:51:19 PM
St. Anselm, ora pro nobis!


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on September 29, 2015, 11:24:11 PM
St. Bernard, ora  pro nobis!


  I am backing up a few pages for this quote.  I apologize for not being able to post the page numbers.


     Think not, O man, that thy debt is less because God suffered for all men as well as for thee. Each of His creatures was as present to His divine mind as if He died for him alone. His charity was so great, the holy Doctors tell us, that had but one man sinned He would have suffered to redeem him. Consider, therefore, what thou owest a Master who has done so much for thee and who would have done still more had thy welfare required it.


St. Ambrose, after Pliny, relates the story of a dog that had witnessed the murder of his master. All night the faithful animal remained by the body, howling most piteously, and on the following day, when a concourse of people visited the scene, the dog noticed the murderer among them, and falling upon him with rage, thus led to the discovery of his crime, If poor animals testify so much love and fidelity for a morsel of bread, will you return offenses for divine benefits? If a dog will manifest such indignation against his master's murderer, how can you look with indifference on the murderers of your sovereign Lord?

And who are these murderers? None other than your sins.


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Shin on October 03, 2015, 09:13:16 PM
God's charity is so great. . .

 :D


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on October 05, 2015, 11:27:28 PM
Chapter 5

The Fifth Motive which obliges us to practice Virtue

   Gratitude for our Justification

     What would the benefit of Redemption avail us, if it had not been followed by that of justification, through which the sovereign virtue of Redemption is  applied to our souls? For as the most excellent remedies avail us nothing if not applied to our disorders, so the sovereign remedy of redemption would be fruitless were it not applied to us through the benefits of justification. This is the work of the Holy Ghost, to whom the sanctification of man in a special manner belongs. It is He who attracts the sinner by His mercy, who calls him, who leads him in ways of wisdom, who justifies him, who raises him to perfection, who imparts to him the gift of perseverance, to which, in the end, He will add the crown of everlasting glory, These are the different degrees of grace contained in the inestimable benefit of justification.
     The first of these graces is our (baptismal) vocation, Man cannot throw off the yoke of sin; he cannot return from death to life, nor from a child of wrath can he become a child of God without the assistance of divine grace, For Our Savior has declared, "No Man can come to me except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him." (Jn. 6:44)
     St. Thomas thus explains these words: "As a stone, when other forces are removed, naturally falls to the ground, and cannot rise again without the application of some extraneous power, so man, corrupted by sin, ever tends downwards, attracted to earth by the love of perishable possessions, and cannot, without the intervention of divine grace, rise to heavenly things or a desire for supernatural perfection." This truth merits our consideration and our tears, for it shows us the depth of our misery, and the necessity, under which we labor, of incessantly imploring the divine assistance.


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Shin on October 06, 2015, 08:17:44 PM
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The first of these graces is our (baptismal) vocation, Man cannot throw off the yoke of sin; he cannot return from death to life, nor from a child of wrath can he become a child of God without the assistance of divine grace, For Our Savior has declared, "No Man can come to me except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him." (Jn. 6:44)
     St. Thomas thus explains these words: "As a stone, when other forces are removed, naturally falls to the ground, and cannot rise again without the application of some extraneous power, so man, corrupted by sin, ever tends downwards, attracted to earth by the love of perishable possessions, and cannot, without the intervention of divine grace, rise to heavenly things or a desire for supernatural perfection." This truth merits our consideration and our tears, for it shows us the depth of our misery, and the necessity, under which we labor, of incessantly imploring the divine assistance.

'Before holy baptism, grace encourages the soul towards good from the outside, while Satan lurks in its depths, trying to block all the intellect's ways of approach to the divine. But from the moment that we are reborn through baptism, the demon is outside, grace is within.

Thus, whereas before baptism error ruled the soul, after baptism truth rules it.

Nevertheless, even after baptism Satan still acts on the soul, often, indeed, to a greater degree than before. This is not because he is present in the soul together with grace; on the contrary, it is because he uses the body's humors to befog the intellect with the delight of mindless pleasures. God allows him to do this, so that a man, after passing through a trial of storm and fire, may come in the end to the full enjoyment of divine blessings. For it is written: "We went through fire and water, and Thou hast brought us out into a place where the soul is refreshed" (Ps. 66.12).'

St. Diadochos of Photiki

'Let us remember that every act of mortification is a work for heaven. This thought will make all suffering and weariness sweet.'

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on October 12, 2015, 11:30:58 PM
Amen to that!
St. Alphonsus Maria de  Liguori, pray for us.
St. Diadochos of Photiki, pray for us.

***
Who can express all the benefits brought to us by justification? It banishes from our souls sin, the source of all evils. It reconciles us to God and restores us to His friendship; for in truth the greatest evil which sin brings on us is that it makes us the objects of God's hatred. God, being infinite goodness, must sovereignly abhor all that is evil, "Thou hatest  all the workers of inequity," exclaims His prophet; "Thou wilt destroy all that speak a lie. The bloody and the deceitful man The Lord will abhor." (Ps. 5;7)
     The enmity of God is evidently the greatest of evils for us, since it cuts us off from the friendship of God, the source of every blessing. From this misfortune justification delivers us, restoring us to God's grace, and uniting us to Him by the most intimate love, that of a father for a son. Hence the beloved disciple exclaims: "Behold what manner of charity the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called, and should be the sons of God."(1Jn. 3:1). The Apostle would have us understand that we wear not only the name, but are in truth the sons of God, in order that we may appreciate the liberality and magnificence of God's mercy to us.

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Another blessing flowing from justification is our deliverance from the eternal pains of Hell.

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What shall I say of this society, demons of perversity and reprobate men? Consider also the confusion and darkness of this terrible abode, where there is no rest, no joy, no peace, no hope, but eternal rage and blasphemies, perpetual weeping and ceaseless gnashing of teeth. Behold the torments from which God delivers those whom He justifies.



     



Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on October 15, 2015, 02:42:39 PM
Another benefit of justification, more spiritual and therefore less apparent, is the regeneration of the interior man deformed by sin. For sin deprives the soul not only of God but of all her supernatural power, of the graces and gifts of the Holy Ghost, in which her beauty and strength consist. A soul this stripped of the riches of grace is weakened and paralyzed in all her faculties. For man is essentially a rational creature, but sin is an act contrary to reason.

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Thus sin renders the soul miserable, weak and torpid, inconsistent in good, cowardly in resisting temptation, slothful in the observance of God's commandments. It deprives her of true liberty and of that sovereignty which she should never resign; it makes her a slave to the world, the flesh and the devil; it subjects her to a harder and more wretched servitude than that of the unhappy Israelites in Egypt or Babylon. 


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Shin on October 16, 2015, 07:39:19 PM
The beauty of a soul in a state of grace!

I am liking the astericks whiterockdove! :D



Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on October 20, 2015, 09:35:25 PM
I agree, Shin. the asterisks make things flow better.



The grace of justification delivers us from all these miseries. For God, in His infinite mercy, is not content with effacing our sins and restoring us to His favor; He delivers us from the evils sin has brought upon us, and renews the interior man in his former strength and beauty. Thus He heals our wounds, breaks our bonds, moderates the violence of our passions, restores with true liberty the supernatural beauty of the soul...

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The beauty, the power, the riches of earth fade into insignificance before the unspeakable beauty of a soul in a state of grace. As far as Heaven is above earth, as far as mind is above matter, so far does the life of grace exceed that of nature, so far does the invisible beauty of a soul exceed the visible beauty of this world. God Himself is enamored with this divine beauty. He adorns such a soul with infused virtues and the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost, imparting, at the same time, renewed strength and splendor to all her powers.


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From these words the Doctors of the Church and between the Holy Spirit and His gifts,  they declare that the soul not only enjoys these gifts, but also the real presence of their Divine Author.

***

Still another more marvelous benefit of justification is that it transforms the soul into a living member of Christ. This, again, is the source of new graces and privileges, for the Son of God, loving and cherishing us as His own members, infuses into us that virtue which is His life, and, as our Head, continually guides and directs us.


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Shin on October 23, 2015, 02:47:14 AM
The grace of justification.. the state of grace.. And that state of grace can be greater or lesser from what I have read..

The beauty of the state of grace!

If only we would think of good things and what are truly beautiful!  :D


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on November 01, 2015, 08:07:43 PM
     Pray, then, with confidence, remembering that your petitions ascend to the Eternal Father in the name of His Son, who is your Head. For His sake they will be heard, and will redound to His honor; for, as is generally admitted, when we ask a favor for the sake of another, it is granted not so much to the one who receives it, as to the one for whose sake it was asked. Fot this reason we are said to serve God when we serve the poor for His sake.

*****

The final benefit of justification is the right which it gives to eternal life. God is infinitely merciful as will as infinitely just, and while He condemns impenitent sinners to eternal misery, He rewards the truly repentant with eternal happiness.

*****

He adopts those whom He pardons, justifies those whom He has adopted, and makes them partakers of the riches and inheritance of his only-begotten Son. It is the hope of this incomparable inheritance which sustains and comforts the just in all their tribulations; for they feel even in the midst of the most cruel adversity that "that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory." (2Cor. 4:17)


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on November 03, 2015, 08:19:38 PM
     These are the graces comprehended in the inestimable benefit of justification,  which St. Augustine justly ranks above that of creation. (Super. Joan 72,9). For God created the world by a single act of His will, but to redeem it He shed the last drop of His Blood and expired under the most grievous torments. St. Thomas gives a like opinion in his Summa Theologica.

     Though it is true that no man can be certain of his justification, yet there are signs by which we can form a favorable judgement. The principal of these is a a change of life; as, for example, when a man who hitherto committed innumerable mortal sins without scruple would not now be guilty of a single grave offense against God even to gain the whole world.

*******

The effects produced in the soul by the Holy Ghost do not end here. This Divine Spirit, not content with causing us to enter the path of justice, maintains us therein, strengthening us against all obstacles until we arrive at the haven of salvation. His love will not permit Him to remain idle in a soul which He honors by His presence. He sanctifies her with His virtue, and effects in her and by her all that is necessary to win eternal life. He dwells in the soul as the father in the midst of a family preserving order and peace by his prudent authority; as a master in the midst of his disciples, teaching lessons of Divine wisdom; as a gardener in a garden confided to his intelligent care;  as a king in His kingdom, ruling and directing all; as the sun in the midst of the universe, enlightening and vivifying her, and directing all her movements.


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on November 05, 2015, 09:03:02 PM
     It is to the Holy Ghost that we are indebted for all our progress in virtue, It is He who preserves us from evil and maintains us in good. It is He who preserves us from evil and maintains us in good. It is He who is the principle of our perseverance, and who finally crowns us in Heaven. This  is was which led St. Augustine to say that in rewarding our merits God but crowns His own gifts. (Conf. 1,20).

The holy patriarch Joseph, not content with giving to his brethren the corn which they came to purchase, ordered also that the money which they paid for it should be secretly returned to them. God treats His elect with still greater liberality. He not only gives them eternal life, but furnishes then the grace and virtue to attain it. "We adore Him," says Eusebius Emissenus, "that He may be merciful to us, but He has already been merciful to us in giving us grace to adore Him."

*****

On  this point St. Augustine well observes that God shows no less mercy in preserving man from sin than in pardoning him after he has fallen (Conf. 2,7).  Indeed, it is a greater proof of Love. Therefore, the same saint, writing to a virgin, says: "Man should consider that God has pardoned him all the sins from which He has preserved him. Think not, therefore, that you may love this Master with a feeble love because He has pardoned you but a few sins. Your debt of love, on the contrary, is greater for His preventing grace which has saved you from committing many. For if a man must love a creditor who forgives him a debt, how much more reason has he to love a benefactor who gratuitously  bestows upon him a like amount? For if a man live chastely all his life, it is God who preserves him; if he be converted from immorality to a pure life, it is God who reforms him; and if he continue in his disorders till the end, it is also God who justly forsakes him."


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on November 07, 2015, 11:13:23 PM


     What, then, should our conclusion be but to unite our voices with the prophet, saying, "Let my mouth be filled with praise, that I may sing thy glory, thy greatness all the day long." (Ps.70:8) St. Augustine, commenting upon these words of the prophet, asks, "What means all the day long?" and he answers, "Under all circumstances and without interruption. Yes, Lord, I will praise thee in prosperity because thou dost comfort me, and in adversity because thou dost chastise me. For my whole being I will praise Thee, because Thou art it's Author. In my repentance  I will praise Thee, because Thou dost pardon me.  In my perseverance I will praise Thee, because Thou wilt crown me. Thus, O Lord, my mouth will be filled with Thy praise, and I will sing Thy glory all the day long!"




Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Shin on November 08, 2015, 02:36:44 AM
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On  this point St. Augustine well observes that God shows no less mercy in preserving man from sin than in pardoning him after he has fallen (Conf. 2,7).  Indeed, it is a greater proof of Love. Therefore, the same saint, writing to a virgin, says: "Man should consider that God has pardoned him all the sins from which He has preserved him. Think not, therefore, that you may love this Master with a feeble love because He has pardoned you but a few sins. Your debt of love, on the contrary, is greater for His preventing grace which has saved you from committing many. For if a man must love a creditor who forgives him a debt, how much more reason has he to love a benefactor who gratuitously  bestows upon him a like amount? For if a man live chastely all his life, it is God who preserves him; if he be converted from immorality to a pure life, it is God who reforms him; and if he continue in his disorders till the end, it is also God who justly forsakes him."

This is something that makes a person think!


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Shin on November 08, 2015, 02:37:24 AM
Thanks be to God for preservation from sin and pardon!  :crucifix:


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on November 16, 2015, 08:59:11 PM
It would be fitting here to speak of the Sacraments, the instruments of justification....we will confine ourselves, for the present, to the Eucharist, that Sacrament of sacraments, which gives to us - as our daily food and sovereign remedy - God Himself.  He was offered once for us on the cross, but He is daily offered for us on the altar.

*****

Had Our Lord reserved the favor for the pure and innocent, it would still be a mercy beyond our comprehension. But in His boundless love, He does not refuse to descend into depraved parts, nor to pass through the hands of unworthy ministers who are the slaves of satan and the victims of their unruly passion. To reach the hearts of His friends and to bring them His divine consolations, He submits to innumerable outrages and profanations, He was sold once in His mortal life but in this august Sacrament He is unceasingly betrayed. The scorn and ignominy of His Passion afflicted Him only once, but in the sacred Banquet His love and goodness are daily insulted and outraged. Once He was nailed to the cross between two thieves, but in the Sacrament of Love, His enemies crucify him a thousand times.


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on November 28, 2015, 09:03:32 PM
What return, then, can we make to a Master who seeks our good in so many ways?

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If God in the old law exacted so much gratitude from the Israelites for the manna, which, with all its excellence, was only corruptible food, what gratitude will He not expect for this Divine Nourishment, incorruptible in Itself, and conferring the same blessing on all who worthily receive it?

*******
And, finally, if our debt of gratitude be so great for being made children of Adam, what so we owe Him for making us children of God? For it cannot be denied, as Eusebius Emissenus observes, that "the day we are born to eternity is infinately greater than the day which brings us forth to this world, with all it's suffering and dangers."

Here, then, dear Christian, is another motive which should induce you to serve God, another link in that chain which binds you irrevocably to your Creator.


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on December 27, 2015, 09:31:08 PM
Chapter 6

The Sixth Motive which obliges us to practice virtue;


Gratitude for the Incomprehensible Benefit of Election

     To all the benefits which we have just enumerated we must add that of election, or predestination, which belongs to those whom God has chosen from all eternity to be partakers of His glory. The Apostle, in his Epistle to the Ephesians (Eph.1:3-5), thus gives thanks, in his own name and that of the elect, for this inestimable benefit:
 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with spiritual blessings in heavenly places, in Christ; as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted in his sight, in charity; who hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the purpose of his will."
The Royal Prophet this extols this same benefit: "Blessed is he whom thou hast chosen and taken to thee: he shall dwell in thy courts." (Ps. 64:5)

     Election, therefore, may be justly called the grace of graces, since God, in His boundless liberality, bestows it upon us before we have merited it; for, while giving to each one what is necessary for his salvation, He wills, as absolute Master of His gifts, to bestow them in greater abundance upon certain souls, without any injury, however, to others less favored. It is also the grace of graces not only because it is the greatest, but because  it is the source of all the others. For in predestining man to glory, God determines to bestow upon him all the graces necessary to attain this happiness. This he has declared by the mouth of His prophet: "I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore have I drawn thee, taking pity on thee". (Jer. 31:3)


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on December 29, 2015, 08:07:13 PM
     This truth is still more clearly expressed by the Apostle: "For whom he foreknew, he also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of his Son; that he might be the firstborn amongst many brethren. And whom he predestinated, them he also justified.
And whom he justified, them he also glorified." (Rom 8:29-30) A father who destines his son for a special career in life prepares and educates him from his boyhood with a view to this career.  In like manner, when God has predestined a soul to eternal happiness, He directs her in the path of justice, that she may attain the end for which He has chosen her.

     All, therefore, who recognize in themselves any mark of election should bless God for this great and eternal benefit. Though it is a secret hidden from human eyes, yet there are certain signs of election, as there are of justification; and as the first mark of out justification is the conversion of our lives, so the surest mark of our predestination is our perseverance in the good thus begun. He who has lived for a number of years in the fear of God, carefully avoiding sin, may hope that God, in the words of the Apostle, "will confirm him unto the end without crime, in the day of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1Cor. 1:8)

No man, however, can be certain of his perseverance or election. Did not Solomon, the wisest of kings, after having lived virtuously for many years, fall into iniquity in his old age? Yet his example is one of the exceptions to the rule, which he himself teaches in these words: "It is a proverb: A young man according to his way, even when he is old he will not depart from it (Prov. 22:6)


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Shin on December 30, 2015, 08:26:02 PM
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so the surest mark of our predestination is our perseverance in the good thus begun.

A quote to remember! :D

May the Lord grant us perseverence in goodness!


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: whiterockdove on January 04, 2016, 08:04:57 PM
Picking right up on that previous post...sorry, I had to stop in the middle of it but here is the rest:

....so that if his youth has been virtuous, his old age will likewise be honorable. From these and similar indications to be found in the lives of the saints a man may humbly hope that God has numbered him among the elect, that his name is written in the Book of Life.

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What in fact can be a greater happiness than to have been from all eternity the object of God's love and choice; to have had a privileged place in His Heart throughout the eternal years; to have been chosen as the child of His adoption before the birth of His Son according to nature: and to have been always present to His Divine Mind, clothed in the splendor of the saints!

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The origin and antiquity of this election also merit special consideration. It did not begin with this world; it preceded the existence of the universe; it was coeval with the very existence of God.  From all eternity He loved His elect. They were ever present to Him, and His will to render them eternally happy was as fixed at His own Being.


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Shin on January 05, 2016, 11:04:42 PM
'Rejoice not in ungodly children, if they be multiplied: neither be delighted in them, if the fear of God be not with them.

Credit not their life, and respect not their labours. For better is one that feareth God, than a thousand impious children.

And it is better to die without children, than to leave ungodly children.'

Ecclesiasticus 16:1-4


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: SenoritaRita on January 27, 2016, 01:19:57 PM
This looks like a really good book!

Never heard of it before today...  

I just ordered a copy! 

Thanks for mentioning it here! 

God bless!

Rita  :)


Title: Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada
Post by: Shin on September 20, 2017, 06:11:14 AM
It is not only a motive of justice which obliges us to serve God, but our necessities force us to have recourse to Him if we would attain the perfection and happiness for which we were created.

In order to understand this more clearly, let us call to mind the general principle that creatures are not born with all their perfections. There remain many to be cultivated and developed, and only He who has begun the work can perfect it. Things instinctively go back to their first cause for their development and perfection. Plants unceasingly seek the sun, and sink their roots deep into the earth where they were formed. Fishes will not leave the element where they were engendered. Chickens seek vivifying warmth and shelter beneath their mother's wings. In like manner a lamb, until it has attained its strength, clings to the side of its ewe, distinguishing her among a thousand of the same color, arguing, doubtless, with blind instinct, that it must seek what it lacks at the source whence it has received all that it is.

This is apparent in all the works of nature, and if those of art could reason they would doubtless proceed in like manner. Were a painter to make a beautiful picture and omit the eyes, whither would the picture, were it sensible of its want, go to seek its completion? Not to the palaces of kings or princes, for all their power could not give it what it sought; no, it would seek its first cause, the master who designed it. And is not this thy position also, O rational creature? Thou art an unfinished work. Many things are lacking to the perfection of thy being. Thou hast naught of the beauty and luster which are yet to be thine. Hence thy restless, unsatisfied yearning; hence those unceasing aspirations for a higher, a better state, which arise from thy very necessities.

Yes, God let thee hunger, in order that, driven by necessity; thou mightest have recourse to Him. For this reason He did not give thee perfection at thy creation, but He withheld it only through love for thee. It was not to make thee poor, but to make thee humble; it was not to leave thee needy, but to compel thee to have recourse to Him.

If, then, thou art blind, poor, and in need, why dost thou not seek the Father who created thee, the Artist who designed thee, that He may satisfy thy wants and supply all that is lacking to thy perfection? Penetrated with this truth David cried out, "Thy hands have made me and formed me: give me understanding, and I will learn thy commandments." (Ps. 118:73).

Thy hands have made me, the prophet would say, but the work is incomplete. The eyes of my soul are still imperfect; they see not what they ought to know. To whom shall I go in my necessities, if not to Him from whom I have received all that I possess? Enlighten, then, my eyes, O Lord, that they may know Thee, and that the work Thou hast begun in me may be perfected. Therefore, only God can perfect the understanding, the will, and all the faculties of the soul.

It is He alone who satisfies His creature and never fails him. With Him the creature is content in poverty, rich in destitution, happy in solitude, and though despoiled of all possessions, yet master of all things. Hence the wise man so justly says, "One is as it were rich, when he hath nothing: and another is as it were poor, when he hath great riches." (Prov. 13:7). Rich indeed is the poor man who, like St. Francis of Assisi, has God for his inheritance, though owning naught else; but poor would he be who knew not God, though he possessed the entire universe. What do their wealth and power avail the rich and great of this world when they are a prey to anxieties which they cannot calm, a victim to appetites which they cannot satisfy? For what comfort can costly raiment, luxurious viands, and overflowing coffers bring to a troubled mind? The rich man tosses restlessly on his soft couch, and his treasure is powerless to stifle the remorse which banishes sleep. Independently, therefore, of God's benefits to us, we are, from the necessities of our nature, obliged to serve Him, if we would attain our happiness and perfection.