3.6.09

‘Charity is the bond of perfection' ...

Christine at Laudem Glorae has posted this meditation from St Alphonsis Ligouri. Whe I first went to grammar school I attended St Alphonsis in Chicago. St Alphonus carism was quite in evidence there.

Toute notre perfection consiste à aimer notre Dieu : Caritas est vinculum perfectionis. (Coloss. III.) Mais toute la perfection de l'amour consiste dans l'union de notre volonté à la sienne. L'effet principal de l'amour, dit S. Denis l'Aréopagite (De Div. Nom. 4.), c'est d'unir la volonté das amans, de telle sorte qu'il n'y en ait plus qu'une. Aussi plus on est uni à la volonté de Dieu, plus est grand l'amour qu'on a pour lui. Les mortifications, les méditations, les communions, les oeuvres de charité envers le prochain, plaisent à Dieu ; mais quand? Lorsqu'elles sont faites selon sa volonté ; mais s'il n'en est pas ainsi, elles lui déplaisent ; que dis-je, il les abhorre, et les punit.

S'il y avait deux serviteurs dont l'un travaillât toute la journée sans se reposer , mais aussi en ne voulant faire les choses qu'á sa guise, et dont l'autre, prenant moins de peine, obéirait en tout ce qui lui serait commandé, le maître préférerait sans doute le second au premier. Nos oeuvres servent-elles à la gloire de Dieu lorsqu'elles ne sont pas selon son bon plaisir? Le Seigneur ne veut pas de sacrifice, dit le prophète à Saül, il veut seulement qu'on lui obéisse.

--St. Alphonse de Liguori, De L'Amour Divin

Perfection is founded entirely on the love of God: “Charity is the bond of perfection” and perfect love of God means the complete union of our will with God’s: “The principal effect of love is so to unite the wills of those who love each other as to make them will the same things.” It follows then, that the more one unites his will with the divine will, the greater will be his love of God. Mortification, meditation, receiving Holy Communion, acts of fraternal charity are all certainly pleasing to God -- but only when they are in accordance with his will. When they do not accord with God’s will, he not only finds no pleasure in them, but he even rejects them utterly and punishes them.

To illustrate: -- A man has two servants. One works unremittingly all day long -- but according to his own devices; the other, conceivably, works less, but he does do what he is told. This latter of course is going to find favor in the eyes of his master; the other will not. Now, in applying this example, we may ask: Why should we perform actions for God’s glory if they are not going to be acceptable to him? God does not want sacrifices, the prophet Samuel told King Saul, but he does want obedience to his will:

--St. Alphonse de Liguori.

Jhesu+Marie,
Brantigny

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