Friday, July 4, 2008

On the Love of God...

”God has loved us from all eternity. Children of men, says the Lord, remember that I first loved you. You had not yet been born, the world itself did not exist, and even then I loved you. As long as I am God, I have loved you; I have loved you as long as I have loved Myself.”
-Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church

”Is not Jesus worthy of thy heart's warmest affection? If thou feelest no very ardent love, still wish and pray to thy Blessed Saviour that the holy fire may be kindled within thy breaSaint Think often that thy Redeemer's labors and pains were endured for thee, an ungrateful sinner. For thy sake Jesus shed His Blood and died upon a Cross; submitting to a temporal death, that thou mightest attain to life eternal. He took upon Himself thy delinquencies, and cancelled thy outstanding debt by fastening it to His Cross. In fine, He parted with all His precious merits to enrich thy poverty-stricken soul.”
-Ven. Blosius.

”The love of God is never idle. When it really fills a soul, it never fails to operate great things in it. Whenever it does not work, but is inactive, we may be certain there is no true love, but only the appearance of it.”
-Pope Saint Gregory the Great, Father and Doctor of the Church

”The greatest security we can have in this world that we are in the grace of God, does not consist in the feelings that we have of love to Him, but rather in an irrevocable abandonment of our whole being into His hands, and in a firm resolution never to consent to any sin great or small.”
-Saint Francis of Sales, Doctor of the Church

”Two loves have made two different cities: self-love hath made a terrestrial city, which rises in contempt of God; and Divine Love hath made a celestial one, which rises in contempt of self. The former glories in itself-the latter in God.”
-Saint Augustine, Father and Doctor of the Church

”To love God as He ought to be loved, we must be detached from all terrestrial love; we must love nothing but Him, or if we love anything else, we must love it only for His sake.”
-Saint Peter Claver

”What a weakness it is to love Jesus Christ only when He caresses us, and to be cold immediately when He afflicts us. This is not true love. Those who love thus, love themselves too much to love God with all their heart.”
-Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

”To love God! oh, how beautiful it is! We must be in Heaven to comprehend love. Prayer helps us a little, because prayer is the elevation of the soul to Heaven. The more we know men, the less we love them. It is the reverse with God; the more we know of Him the more we love Him. This knowledge inflames the soul with such a love that it can no longer love or desire anything but God . . . Man was created by love; therefore he is disposed to love. On the other hand, he is so great that nothing on earth can satisfy him. He can be satisfied only when he turns to God. Take a fish out of water, and it will not live . . . Well, such is man without God.”
-Saint John Marie Vianney

”One day, while conversing with Saint Bonaventure, Blessed Giles said to him: "My Father, God has shown you great mercy, and loaded you with many graces in giving you that knowledge which helps you to praise Him. But we, poor ignorant creatures, how can we correspond with His goodness and attain to salvation?" The Saint replied: "If God had given man His love alone, that would be enough." "What?" returned Blessed Giles, "can an ignorant man love God as much as the most learned doctor?" "Certainly," answered Saint Bonaventure, "an old woman who knows nothing can love God as much and more than a master in theology." At these words, Giles, transported with delight, ran into the garden, and cried out to the passers-by, "Come, simple and unlearned men, Come poor, wretched, ignorant women, come, listen to me. Do you wish to love Our Lord? You can love Him as much and more than Brother Bonaventure and the most learned theologians."
-Blessed Giles of Assisi

“O my sweet Love, who shall prevent me from loving Thee? Shall it be my body? Rather will I reduce it to dust. Shall it be my past sins? I will immerse them in the sea of Thy Blood, and after that, behold my body and soul, make me suffer whatever it may please Thee in order to annihilate them in such a manner that they may be no obstacle to my loving Thee.”
-Saint John Eudes

”To love God as we ought, it would be necessary to have three hearts in one. The first, all on fire for God, would cause us to think continually of God, speak habitually of Him, act constantly for Him, and support with patience, during the term of our life, the sorrows and trials which it may please Him to send us. The second heart, all love for our neighbor, should cause us to help him in his temporal wants by our alms, and still more in his spiritual needs by instruction, counsel, example, and prayer. This second heart should be, above all, full of tenderness for sinners; asking continually of God to enlighten and bring them to sorrow for sin; it should also be most compassionate toward the Holy Souls in Purgatory. But the third heart should be hard as bronze toward self, shunning every kind of sensuality, resisting constantly all self-love, renouncing one's own will, chastising the body by fasting and abstinence, -in fine, putting to death all the inclinations of corrupt nature.”
-Saint Benedict Joseph Labre

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