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Author Topic: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada  (Read 30957 times)
whiterockdove
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« Reply #17 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!"
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« Reply #18 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!"
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« Reply #19 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."
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« Reply #20 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.
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« Reply #21 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!
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« Reply #22 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.
     
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« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2015, 06:51:44 AM »

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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.
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« Reply #24 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.
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« Reply #25 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!
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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 #26 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?
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« Reply #27 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?"
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« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2015, 07:51:19 PM »

St. Anselm, ora pro nobis!
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« Reply #29 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.
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« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2015, 09:13:16 PM »

God's charity is so great. . .

 Cheesy
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« Reply #31 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.
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« Reply #32 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
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« Reply #33 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.

***

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

***

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.



     

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