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Author Topic: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada  (Read 31011 times)
whiterockdove
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« 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.
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Shin
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2015, 12:04:08 AM »

The goodness and beauty of God and virtue..




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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
whiterockdove
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« Reply #2 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!   
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Shin
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« Reply #3 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. Cheesy

Thanks again whiterockdove! Deo gratias et Mariae semper Virgini!
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
whiterockdove
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« Reply #4 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...

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whiterockdove
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« Reply #5 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.
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Shin
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« Reply #6 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.'
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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« Reply #7 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!
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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« Reply #8 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)
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2015, 01:33:40 AM »

A great extract for helping meditation!
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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« Reply #10 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 Cheesy
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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2015, 12:35:48 AM »

I know just that feeling!

 rejoice tiny angel kanpai
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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« Reply #12 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.
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« Reply #13 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. 
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Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you (Matth. 6:33).
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« Reply #14 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.

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« Reply #15 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.
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« Reply #16 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.  Cheesy

  cross prayer tiny angel flower littlepigeons fishie
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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