Summary of the Virtues,
Necessary for Growth in the Love of Jesus Christ
by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
We must Patiently 'Endure' the Trials of this Life:
Poor Health, Sorrow, Poverty,
Loss of Loved Ones, Insults, Persecutions,
and everything Disagreeable. We must Learn-to 'Recognize' the Sufferings of this
Life, as Signs-of God's Love for us, and His Desire-to '
Save' us, in the World-to-Come. Mortifications 'Sent' by God
(and 'Accepted' by us) are far-more Pleasing-to Him, than those that are the
Result-of our own 'Choosing'.
Angels and Man are both Created in the Image and Likeness of God; i.e. Rational (Intellect + Will) Beings.
God - Unity (1)
of Three (3) Persons
Man - Unity (1) of Body +
Soul - Grace resides
within the Soul's Essence
God's Will by
Both Man and Angels have Free Will. Angels have Progressed further than
Man in the Spiritual Life, and are Guided-by the Beatific Vision.
Man's Will was Terribly Weakened by the
Original Sin of-Adam;
consequently, God Desires us to 'Choose' His Will, over our Own Free Will.
Although we have 'Inherited' a Terribly-Weakened Free Will, and are Desperately in Need-of God's Help,
the 'Choice' is completely Ours. God, however, will never 'Rescind' our Free Will.
Those who 'Reject' the Will-of-God, have already 'Chosen'
Hell for themselves.
In Sickness, we should Try-to 'Resign' ourselves Completely-to the
Will-of-God; no Spiritual Exercise is as-Pleasing
to-Him, as this. If, at-Times, we find ourselves Incapable-of Meditation, it Helps
to-'Rivet' our Eyes, on Jesus Crucified, and 'Offer'
Him our Sufferings, in Union (1)-with Everything
He 'Endured' for us, on the Cross. And if we Find that we are Close-to
Death, we should 'Accept' the News, with-Peace and in the
Spirit-of-Sacrifice. This is what 'Gave' Merit-to, the Death-of the
Martyrs. The Greatest Penance, that we can 'Perform', is to 'Accept'
Death, with Perfect Resignation.
We must also 'Practice', Conformity-to the Will-of-God, in the Face-of
Poverty, and the various Inconveniences that 'Accompany' it:
Cold, Hunger, Contempt, and
Scorn. We must 'Learn' to be 'Resigned'-to the Loss-of Loved Ones, on-whom
we 'Thought' our Happiness, 'Depended'. We should 'Form' the Habit-of 'Saying', in the Midst-of every Trial:
"God has Willed it, and so I Will it".
Learn-to 'Endure' Scorn and Insult,
with-Patience and with-Peace. 'Answer' an
Insult, with a Gentle Response. When Annoyed, it is better-to 'Keep Silent', until we have 'Regained'
our Calm. Meanwhile, we should not 'Mention' the Incident to-Others; it is better-to 'Offer' it in-Silence
to-Jesus Christ, Who 'Endured'
so-much for Us.
Be Kind to-Everyone: to-Equals and to-those who 'Hold' Authority, to-People of all-Classes,
to-Relatives and Strangers, but especially-to the Poor and to-the Sick,
and to-those who Dislike us. Kindness, too, is more Effective-in the Correction-of
Faults, than any other Method, that has been 'Tried'. Be careful, therefore, not to make Corrections when
Angry. Remember, too, that Corrections 'Made', while the other Person is Agitated,
bring-not Improvement, but Exasperation.
Envy not, those who 'Have' Wealth, and 'Receive' Praise-from the
World. Rather, 'Look' with Holy Envy on those who most Love Jesus
Christ, because they are, without Doubt, Happier-than the Princes-of this World. 'Thank'
God for 'Showing' you how Hollow are the Things, for-which others 'Trade' their
Immortal (∞) Souls.
In all your 'Thoughts' and 'Actions', you should 'Seek' only God's
Pleasure. It is Necessary, therefore, to 'Put Aside' all Disappointment,
when your Efforts seem-to 'Fail'. And even if you seem-to 'Succeed', you should never 'Seek' the Thanks or
Approval, of-Others. If People 'Choose'-to Gossip about you, you should Remain Unconcerned; you will be
Consoled-by the Fact that you have 'Worked' only to 'Please' God.
To 'Become' Holy, we must:
Avoid even the Smallest, Deliberate Sin ─
If we should, however, happen to-'Commit' a Fault, we must never 'Become' Angry
and Impatient with Ourselves. When this 'Happens', we should Calmly Repent,
and 'Make' an Act-of-Love of Jesus Christ. We then 'Ask'
His Help, and 'Promise' to-Avoid the Fault, in the Future.
Sincerely Desire Holiness ─
If we do not have this Desire, we must 'Beg' Jesus Christ to 'Give' it to us. If we do not sincerely
'Desire' to 'Become' Saints, we will never take a Single (1) Step toward
Have a Resolute Will, to become Holy ─
If we do not have this Resolution, we will 'Work' only Half-heartedly and will be Unable-to 'Overcome'
our Natural Defects. A Resolute Will, on-the-other-hand, with the Unfailing
Help-of-God, 'Overcomes' every Obstacle.
Practice Mental Prayer ─
And, Except-in Case-of Urgent Necessity, we should never Abandon it,
no matter how Weary or Desolate we 'Become'.
Receive Holy Communion, Frequently ─
According to Saint-Francis-de-Sales, Two (2) Sorts-of People, ought to 'Receive'
Frequently: The Perfect, to 'Remain' so; and the
Imperfect, in-order-to 'Become' Perfect.
Pray, Always ─
We Pray to Jesus Christ in all our Needs,
because, as we Know, our Progress 'Depends' entirely-on Prayer. We must never let a Day go by, without
'Begging' God for the Gift-of-Perseverance in His
Holy Love, and Perfect Conformity-to His Holy Will. We
Pray for every Grace, 'Through' the Merits
of Jesus Christ. And we should especially 'Beg' God for Help, in-Time-of
Temptation against Purity. Those who 'Pray',
'Conquer'; those who do not 'Pray', are 'Conquered'.
Practice Humility ─
To Pride ourselves on Wealth, Honor, or Talent, and even our Spiritual Gifts,
is Foolish. Since all of these are Gifts-of-God, we should Realize that we
are the Least, and should be Ready-to Become considered-so. Some say that they are the Worst of
God's Creatures, and yet they want to be 'Treated' as the Best. We should be
Willing to 'Accept' Correction Humbly, and not Try to 'Excuse' Ourselves, even if we are
not at Fault.
We must 'Learn' to 'Overcome' our Natural Desire for Praise, never Forgetting the Motto of Saint Francis:
"What we Are before God, that we Are". To 'Covet' Positions-of-Honor is,
of course, an Act-of-Pride. Those who are Humble, 'Embrace'
Practice Detachment-from, all Created Things ─
If we are 'Chained'-by the smallest Attachment-to Temporal Goods, we can never 'Reach' Perfect
Union (1) with God. We should Pay no-attention-to Human Respect; and,
above all, we must be 'Detached'-from Self-Will.
Never Display Anger, no matter what Happens ─
But if Passion suddenly 'Flares'-up, we should 'Call'-on God, and Remain
Silent until Anger 'Passes'. It would be Wise, to 'Prepare' ourselves by-Prayer,
to 'Meet' Future Irritations.
Do God's Will ─
All Holiness Consists-in the Love-of God,
and all Love-of God, includes 'Doing' His
Will. We should, therefore, 'Abandon' ourselves completely-to the Will-of-God, and Cheerfully 'Accept'
the Trials, as-well-as the Triumphs, God 'Sends' our Way. We must 'Accept' the
State-of-Life, in which God 'Places' us; the Health, God 'Gives' us; and
whatever Happens-to us. This should be the Goal-of all our Prayers: that God
will 'Help' us to 'Do' His Holy Will, in all things. And in-order-to Know the
Will-of-God, all must Learn-to Practice Obedience-to Proper Authority. Nothing
is more-certain, than the saying-of Saint-Philip-Neri: "We will not have to Worry about Rendering an Account-to God, if we do
All Things, in Obedience".
Resist Temptation ─
There are Two (2) Ways of 'Overcoming' Temptation:
Resignation and Prayer. Be Resigned-to the Will-of-God,
Who 'Allows' them - for our Greater Good. We must be Careful, then, not
to-Yield, no matter how Trying the Temptation might 'Become'.
Evil Thoughts, no matter how Filthy, are not
Sins; only Consent-to them, can make them so. We must, of course,
Pray in-Time-of Temptation. We will never be 'Overcome', if we 'Call' on the
Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. We should 'Renew' our Resolve-to
Die, rather than Willingly Offend
God. Prayer is the most-Effective means-of 'Conquering'
Surrender all to God, when Crushed by Desolations ─
Here, we must Humble Ourselves with the Sincere Admission, that we 'Deserve' no-better Treatment; and we must
'Resign' Ourselves to the Will-of-God, 'Abandoning' Ourselves entirely-to Him.
God's Consolation 'Prepares' us for 'Coming' Trials. If it Pleases
God, to 'Leave' us in Desolation, we must
Humbly 'Resign' ourselves to His Divine Will.
Think Seriously, of certain General Maxims of Eternal Life,
such as the Following ─
We must 'Leave-all', to 'Gain'-all.
. . . . . . No Gain
. . . . . No Glory
. . . . No
We cannot find Peace, without God.
We 'Realize' our Salvation, by Loving God above all, and by
Loving our Neighbor, as we Love Ourselves.
Those who Pray, are Saved; those who do not
Pray, are Lost.
Meditation on Jesus Crucified,
helps us to 'Endure' all things.
Whatever is not Done-for God, is Useless.
Happy are those who can say: "My Jesus, I Desire You Alone, and Nothing more".
The End of -
The Practice of the
Love of Jesus Christ