Chapter IX
Love does not Rejoice in what is Wrong,
But Rejoices with the Truth


Crucifixion (Triptych) - by HEEMSKERCK, Maerten van - from the Hermitage, St Petersburg

 

Jesus Christ Died in-Battle, for us

Greater Love than this, no Man hath,
that a Man lay-down his Life, for his Friends.
(John 15:13 - Douay Rheims Bible)

Maiorem hac dilectionem nemo habet
ut animam suam quis ponat pro amicis suis.
(John 15:13 - Latin Vulgate Bible)

 

Some People make Perfection, Consist-in an Austere Life;
others in Prayer; others in Frequenting the Sacraments;
others in Almsgiving. But they Deceive themselves:
Perfect Sanctity consists-in Loving God with our Whole Heart.
Jesus Deserves our Love, because-of the Love He has Shown us,
in His Passion and Death.

 

Nota Bene: Bible Verses quoted-in this Book are from the English Douay-Rheims Translation, commissioned-by the Catholic Church.

 

Chapter IX
Love does not Rejoice in what is Wrong,
But Rejoices with the Truth

by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Love and Truth are Inseparable. Love, 'Knowing' that God is the True and Only Good, 'Detests' Sin (which is directly Opposed-to God's Will), and 'Seeks' only what 'Pleases' Almighty God. So the Soul that Loves God, 'Tries' to 'Please' Him, regardless-of any Human Respect. As has been 'Emphasized' throughout this Book, all Holiness consists-in 'Conforming' our Will to God's, and in 'Submitting' our Will, to His.

 

Conformity to God's Will

If, then, we 'Want' to-become Saints, we must 'Concentrate' on-doing the Will-of-God, rather-than our Own. All the Commandments and Counsels, are contained-in 'Discovering' and 'Obeying' God's Will. We must, therefore, 'Ask' the Lord to-Give us a Holy Liberty-of-Spirit, that 'Leads' us to-embrace whatever is Pleasing-to Jesus Christ, in-spite-of any Feelings of-Hesitation, that might Stem-from Self-Love and Human Respect. The Love-of Jesus Christ, makes those who Love Him, seem Equally at-ease in any Job, Pleasant or Unpleasant. These Persons Work-with that Peace-of-Mind, which comes-from the Knowledge, that they are 'Pleasing', Almighty God.

Saint Augustine can say, that if we Love, we can do what we Please, because he 'Knows' that, whoever really Loves God, 'Seeks' only-to 'Please' Him. And Saint Teresa reminds us, that those who Concentrate-on Pleasing the One they Love, become Heedless-of all Private Interests. This, too, is what we must do, to-'Discover' the Will-of-God for us. But, we Stumble and Fall a Thousand 103) Times, and even Lose our Way, because we do not 'Focus' our Attention, on our God-of-Love.

"Thou shalt Love the Lord thy God, with thy Whole Heart, and with thy Whole Soul, and with thy Whole Mind" - Matthew 22:37. Those who do just-that, are ready-to say-with Saint Paul, at his Conversion: "What shall I do, Lord?" - Acts 22:10. We must Realize then, that when we 'Desire' what God Wills, we, at the same-Time, 'Desire' what is really Best-for Ourselves. Saint-Vincent-de-Paul said: "Conformity-with the Will-of-God, is the Treasure-of a Christian, since it Incorporates self-Denial with all Virtues, in Union with God".

But all this Union (1) or Conformity-with the Will-of-God, must be-Complete and without-Reserve, on our-Part. We are Deceived, if we 'Think' Union (1) with-God 'Consists'-in 'Ecstasies' and 'Raptures'. It 'Consists'-in nothing other than, 'Submitting' our Will, to the Will-of-God. Oh how many of us say: "Lord, I give you my Will", but when we meet-with Difficulties, we Fail to-'Yield' Calmly-to God's Will.

If we were United (1) with God's Will in all our Trials, we would become Saints. We must 'Focus' all our Efforts, on-Keeping our Will in-complete Union (1)-with the Will-of-God in everything, Pleasant or Unpleasant.

 

Patterns for Perfection

Many Try-to-Devise, their own Patterns-for Perfection.

If they are 'Introverts', they say that Sanctity consists-in Living-in Seclusion.

If they are 'Extroverts', they say that Holiness consists-in Preaching and Evangelization.

If they are 'Naturally Generous', they 'Argue' that Sanctity is-Attained only by-'Giving' Money-to the Poor.

All these Actions, are the Outgrowth-of the Love-of Jesus Christ; but Love itself, consists-in Complete Union (1) with the Will-of-God. And in-order-to 'Reach' this Union (1), we must Deny ourselves, and 'Prefer' what is most-Pleasing to-God, Solely-because He Deserves it.

Others want-to 'Serve' God, but it must be in this Place, at this Job, with these People; otherwise they 'Perform' Poorly. These People are not Free-in-Spirit, because they are Slaves-of-Self-Love. They are always Unhappy, because their Attachment-to-Self-Will, makes the Yoke-of Jesus Christ, Very Heavy for them.

True Lovers-of Jesus Christ, Love only what is Pleasing-to Jesus Christ. They Love when it 'Pleases' Jesus Christ, where it 'Pleases' Jesus Christ, and how it 'Pleases' Jesus Christ - whether He 'Chooses' to 'Place' them in an Important Position, or in an Apparently Insignificant Job. This is what the Pure Love of Jesus Christ really-means. So we must Try-to 'Conquer' our Self-Will, that 'Seeks' only to be 'Praised'; or to be 'Employed' in a Place, that is most Suited-to our Liking. What Good, will it do to be 'Praised' or 'Well-Paid', without the Will-of-God?

Human Being/Person
(A Unity (1) of Body and Soul)

Body/Inferior Will/
Psychosomatic Powers
Passions/Emotions/
Body Appetites/
Memory/Imagination
(Subordinate-Partner)

Soul/Intellect/
Superior Will/
Reason/Grace/
Infused Knowledge/
Heart/Conscience
(Dominant Partner)

The Will Resides-in the Soul of a Person.
Anger and the other Feelings/Passions/Appetites, Reside-in the Body.
Strength is Manifested-in our Control-of the Will-of the Soul.
Love and Charity are an Act-of the Will.

 

In Speaking-of the Last Judgment, Jesus said: "Many will Say-to Me, in that Day: Lord, Lord, have not we Prophesied in Thy Name, and Cast out Devils in Thy Name, and done many Miracles in Thy Name? And then, will I Profess unto them, I never knew you: Depart-from me, you that Work Iniquity" - Matthew 7:22-23. In other-Words, He is Telling them that He does not Recognize them as His Disciples, because they Preferred-to Follow their own Inclinations, rather-than His Will.

A proper Pattern-of Perfection, consists-of the following:

A True turning-away from Self.

A Complete Mortification-of the Appetites.

A Perfect Union (1), with the Will-of-God.

Whoever Lacks one-of these Requirements, is not on the Road-to Holiness.

The Goal-of All our Actions, should be the Will-of-God, rather-than the Glory-of-God. For when we say that we are Working-for the Glory-of-God, we Frequently Deceive ourselves, and do our own Will, under the Pretext-of Glorifying God. Saint-Francis-de-Sales Warns us: "Many say to the Lord: 'I give myself entirely to You'. But Few are really Ready, to Embrace that Abandonment".

It is therefore in Suffering, and Cheerfully 'Embracing' what Cuts-against the Grain-of our own Self-Will, that we Recognize the True Lovers-of Jesus Christ. Those who 'Embrace' their Crosses, without Complaining, are Examples-of this.

We must, of course, 'Resign' ourselves to the Crosses that come Directly-from God, like Sickness, Lack-of Talent, apparent "Bad Luck"; but we must also 'Embrace' those that come Indirectly-from God, but through others, like Persecution, Theft, Injury.

We should, then, Constantly Beg-for the Grace, to-Belong completely-to God, 'Asking' Him for Light to-'Understand' His Will, and Strength to-'Carry' it out. But we can never do this without Mental Prayer, coupled-with a Heartfelt Desire to be Totally United (1) to Jesus Christ.

 

Obedience to God's Will

And going a little further, He Fell-upon His Face, Praying, and Saying: My Father, if it be possible, let this Chalice pass-from me. Nevertheless, not as I Will, but as Thou Wilt.

How can we 'Know' what God 'Asks' of us? There is no surer-Way, than to-Practice Obedience to those who Hold Authority over us. God is more-Pleased with the Sacrifice-of our own Self-Will in Obedience, than with all the other Sacrifices that we can 'Offer' Him. And why is this? When we 'Give' Him Our Material Goods, we 'Give' of-what is Ours; but when we 'Give' Him Our Will, we 'Give' Him Ourselves. Therefore, when we Say-to God: "Lord, let me know by Obedience, what You Want of me, because I Want to do it", we have Nothing-more to-'Give' Him.

There are so-Few People, completely Surrendered-to God, because so-Few Submit-to Obedience. Some are so 'Attached'-to their Own Opinions, that when they are Asked-to Obey even if it is something they like to do they find that-simply, because it is a Command, they Lose any Desire-for it, and any Desire-to Carry it out, because they only-Enjoy their Own Will. How different is the Attitude-of the Saints!

In-order-to 'Practice' Perfect Obedience, we must Obey with both our Mind and our Will. To Obey with our Mind, Means-that we do not Unnecessarily 'Question' or 'Examine' what is Commanded, Taking for Granted that what is 'Commanded', is the most Perfect Thing to-'Do', although some-other Command might be better, before God. Obedience-of the Will 'Implies' that we 'Act' freely, and not like Robots. This is True, not only for Religious, but also for the Laity, who 'Owe' Obedience-to their Spiritual Directors.

In Summary, our Pursuit-of Holiness, depends on:

'Surrendering' our Self-Will

'Following' the Will-of-God

'Begging' God for the Strength, to do both.

 

sor_ani.gif (75307 bytes)

"O my God, make me a Saint"
Saint Alphonsus Mary Liguori

 

Prayer

Beloved Redeemer, be the only Lord-of my Heart. Possess it Entirely. I want to 'Love' You alone, 'Obey' You alone, and try to 'Please' You alone. Others may Seek the Riches-of the World; I want only You. You are, and always shall be, my Treasure in-Life and in-Eternity.

Jesus, I give You my Whole Mind and my Whole Will. They once 'Rebelled' against You, but now I 'Dedicate' them completely-to You. Tell me what You want me to do, and I will leave nothing undone. I Accept Your Will and Resign myself to Accept everything You 'Send' my Way.

Love, Deserving of Infinite Love, You have Loved me enough, to Die-for me. I Love You with my Whole Heart, and I Abandon my Soul, into Your Hands. Receive me, and Make me Faithful until Death.

My Jesus, from now on I will Live only for You; I will Love only You; I will seek Nothing, but to do Your Blessed Will.

Mary, my Hope, Help me to-Seek and to-Follow God's Will, in all my Actions.

Amen