Good Advice from the Saints

February 3, 2020

Advice from the saints on a daily or weekly basis is always a good thing.

This is what St. Alphonsus taught his flock during one fourth Sunday after the Epiphany:

When the winds are strong and violent, the pilot lowers the sails and casts anchor. So, when we find ourselves assailed by any bad passion, we should always lower the sails ; that is, we should avoid all the occasions which may increase the passion and should cast anchor by uniting ourselves to God, and by begging of him to give us strength not to offend him But some of you will say, What am I to do ? I live in the midst of the world, where my passions continually assail me even against my will. I will answer in the words of Origen: Donee quis in tenebris sceculanbus manet et in negotiorum obscuritate versatur, nou potest servire Domino. Exeundum est ergo de Egypto, relmquendus est mundus, non loco sed ammo.” (Horn. 111. in Exod.) The man who lives in the darkness of the world and in the midst of secular business, can with difficulty serve God. Whoever then wishes to ensure his eternal salvation, let him retire from the world, and take refuge in one of those exact religious communities which are the secure harbours in the sea of this world. 11 he cannot actually leave the world, let him leave it at least in affection, by detaching his heart from the things of this world, and from his own evil inclinations: ” Go not after thy lusts,” says the Holy Ghost, ” but turn away from thy own will.” (Eccl. xviii. 30.) Follow not your own concupiscence; and when your will impels you to evil, you must not indulge, but must resist its inclinations.

“The time is short : it remaineth that they also who have wives be as if they had none ; and they that weep, as though they wept not ; and they that rejoice, as it they rejoiced not ; and they that buy, as if they possessed not ; and they that use this world, as if they used it not ; for the fashion of this world passeth away ” 1 Cor. vii. 29, etc.) The time of life is short; we should then prepare for death, which is rapidly approaching; and to prepare for that awful moment, let us reflect that everything m this world shall soon end. Hence, he tells those who suffer in this life to be as if they buttered not, because the miseries of this life shall soon pass away, and they who save their souls shall be happy for eternity; and he exhorts those who enjoy the goods of this earth to be as if they enjoyed them not, because they must one day leave all things; and if they lose their souls, they shall be miserable for ever.”

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