Friday, May 26, 2006

St. Philip Neri on Sanctification (On His Feast Day)

"The true way to advance in holy virtues is to persevere in a holy cheerfulness. The cheerful are much easier to guide in the spiritual life than the melancholy.... Excessive sadness seldom spring from any other source than pride. Charity and cheerfulness, or charity and humility, should be our motto. It is very necessary to be cheerful, but we must not on that account give in to frivolity. Frivolity incapacitates a person from receiving any additional spirituality from God. Frivolity also roots up the little a man may have already acquired...."

"Those who pay a moderate attention to the mortification of their bodies, and direct their main intention to mortify the will and understanding, even in matters of the slightest moment, are more to be esteemed than they who give themselves up exclusively to corporal penances. We ought to desire to do great things for the service of God, and not content ourselves with a moderate goodness, but wish, if it were possible, to surpass in sanctity and love even Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Even though a man may be unable to attain such a height of sanctity, he ought to desire it, so as to do at least in desire what he cannot carry out in effect."

(From If God Be With Us: The Maxims of St. Philip Neri, Fr. F.W. Faber, Editor)


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