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Author Topic: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada  (Read 43891 times)
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« Reply #32 on: October 07, 2015, 01:17:44 AM »

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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 13, 2015, 04:30:58 AM »

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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« Reply #34 on: October 15, 2015, 07:42:39 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.

****

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. 
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« Reply #35 on: October 17, 2015, 12:39:19 AM »

The beauty of a soul in a state of grace!

I am liking the astericks whiterockdove! Cheesy

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« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2015, 02:35:25 AM »

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...

***

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.


***

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.
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« Reply #37 on: October 23, 2015, 07:47:14 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!  Cheesy
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« Reply #38 on: November 02, 2015, 02:07:43 AM »

     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)
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« Reply #39 on: November 04, 2015, 02:19:38 AM »

     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.
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« Reply #40 on: November 06, 2015, 03:03:02 AM »

     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."
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« Reply #41 on: November 08, 2015, 05:13:23 AM »



     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:Cool 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!"


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« Reply #42 on: November 08, 2015, 08:36:44 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!
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« Reply #43 on: November 08, 2015, 08:37:24 AM »

Thanks be to God for preservation from sin and pardon!  crucifix
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« Reply #44 on: November 17, 2015, 02:59:11 AM »

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.
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« Reply #45 on: November 29, 2015, 03:03:32 AM »

What return, then, can we make to a Master who seeks our good in so many ways?

*******

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.
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« Reply #46 on: December 28, 2015, 03:31:08 AM »

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)
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« Reply #47 on: December 30, 2015, 02:07:13 AM »

     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:Cool

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)
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