Summary of the Virtues,
Necessary for Growth in the Love of Jesus Christ


The Crucifixion - by WEYDEN, Rogier van der - from Staatliche Museen, Berlin

 

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.

 

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

Angels

Man - Unity (1) of Body + Soul

Uncreated
Pure Spirit

Created
Pure Spirit

Body

Soul - Grace resides
within the Soul's Essence

Intellect

Will

Intellect

Will

Mortal:
Subject to
Suffering and
Death

Intellect

Will

Infinite (∞)
Knowledge
and Wisdom

Absolutely
Good and
Loving

Limited
by
Nature

United (1) with
God's Will by
Beatific Vision

Limited
by
Nature

Weakened
by Adam's
Original Sin

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 God.

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' Humiliation with-Joy.

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' Temptation.

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 Pain . . . . . . No Gain
No Guts . . . . . No Glory
No Cross . . . . No
Crown

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