Wednesday, September 5, 2012

St. Alphonsus Liguori, Pray for Us

I just "discovered" a saint this morning in the Magnificat readings. Actually, St. Alphonsus was a doctor of the Church. Alphonsus's teachings all emphasize a vital remedy for the world's ills, (overlooked for it's simplicity and the humility required). Prayer.  Continually appeal to God.

A few thoughts from St. Alphonsus on prayer:

"The sovereigns of the earth do not always grant audience readily; on the contrary, the King of Heaven, hidden under the eucharistic veils, is ready to receive anyone…"

"If you pray, you are positive of saving your soul. If you do not pray, you are just as positive of losing your soul."

"He who trusts himself is lost. He who trusts God can do all things."

“Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with Him, familiarly and with confidence and love, as to the dearest and most loving of friends. Speak to Him often of your business, your plans, your troubles, your fears— of everything that concerns you. Converse with Him confidently and frankly; for God is not wont to speak to a soul that does not speak to Him.”

I didn't realize this but when I looked up St. Alphonsus to find out more about him I discovered that Pope Benedict XVI has been referencing him quite a bit over the past couple of years. 

Earlier last month the Holy Father shared:

What is truly necessary in my life? With St. Alphonsus I respond: "Health and all the graces we need for this" (ibid.); naturally, he means not only bodily health, but above all also that of the soul, which Jesus gives to us. More than anything else, we need His liberating presence, which truly makes our lives fully human and therefore full of joy. And it is only through prayer that we are able to welcome Him and His grace, which by enlightening us in each situation, enables us to discern the true good, and by strengthening us, makes our will effective; that is, it enables it to do the good that is known. Often we recognize the good, but we are unable to do it. Through prayer, we arrive at the point of being able to carry it out.

In New Advent's bio on St. Alphonsus they point out that "the eighteenth century was not an age remarkable for depth of spiritual life, yet it produced three of the greatest missionaries of the Church."  But in any age, in any place, they key to making a remarkable difference for God is always simple and available: Prayer.

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