Spiritual Reading for the Third Friday in Advent ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Spiritual Reading

COUNSELS CONCERNING A RELIGIOUS VOCATION

XI. CONCLUSION

Finally, let him who wishes to enter Religion resolve to become a Saint, and to suffer every exterior and interior pain in order to be faithful to God, and not to lose his Vocation. And if he be not thus resolved, I exhort him not to deceive the Superiors and himself, and not to enter at all, for this is a sign that he is not called, or, which is a still greater evil, that he has not the will to correspond as he ought, with the grace of his Vocation. Hence, with so bad a disposition, it is better to remain in the world, there to dispose himself better, so as to give himself entirely to God, and to suffer all for Him. Otherwise he will do an injury both to himself and to Religion, for he will leave for the least cause, and then, besides being discredited before the world, he will be guilty before God of a still further infidelity to his Vocation, and will lose all hope of being able to take a single step in the way of God. God alone knows into what other misfortunes and sins he may fall.

To sum up. What a beautiful sight to see in Religion souls wholly given to God, who live in the world as if out of the world, without any other thought than that of pleasing God.

In Religion each one has to live only for eternity. What happiness for us if we spend these few days of our life for God! And to this he is most especially obliged who has perhaps already spent much of his life in the service of the world. Let us set eternity before our eyes, and then we shall suffer everything in peace and joy.

Let us thank God Who gives us so much light and so many means to serve Him perfectly, since He has chosen us, from among so many, to serve Him in Religion — having bestowed on us the gift of His holy love. Let us make haste to advance in virtue in order to please Him, reflecting that, perhaps, as St. Teresa said to her daughters, “we have already by His grace got over the chief difficulty in the way of becoming Saints when we turned our backs on the world and all its goods; that which is less difficult remains for us to do, and then we shall be Saints.” I hold it for certain that for those who die in Religion, Jesus Christ has prepared a beautiful place in Paradise. In this world we shall be poor, despised, and looked upon as fools and imprudent persons, but in the next our lot will be far different.

Let us always recommend ourselves to our most loving Redeemer, hidden in the Blessed Sacrament, and to the Blessed Virgin, for Religious must profess a most special love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and for His Immaculate Mother Mary. Let us have great confidence. Jesus Christ has chosen us to be princes of His court, and all Religious Orders, and each member of them, are indeed objects of His special care. The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? (Ps. xxvi. 1).

O Lord! perfect Thy work, and, for Thy glory, make us all Thine own, so that all the members of Thy Orders may, until the Day of Judgment, be pleasing to Thee, and gain for Thee a countless number of souls. Amen, Amen.

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