"God looks neither at long nor beautiful prayers, but at those that come from the heart."

The Cure D'Ars

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"Men should often renew their good resolutions, and not lose heart because they are tempted against them."

St Philip Neri

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"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."

St Alphonsus de Liguori

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St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) -  Bishop and Doctor of the Universal Church

 

INTRODUCTION TO A DEVOUT LIFE (cont)

 

by St Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church

PART V. Containing counsels and practices for renewing and confirming the soul in devotion (cont)
 

6. Examination of the Soul's Condition as regards our Neighbour.

 
Husband and wife are bound to love one another with a tender, abiding, restful love, and this tie stands foremost by God's order and Will. And I say the same with respect to children and all near relations, as also friends in their respective degrees.

But, generally speaking, how is it with you as concerning your neighbour? Do you love him cordially, and for God's Sake? In order to answer this fairly, you must call to mind sundry disagreeable, annoying people, for it is in such cases that we really practise the Love of God with respect to our neighbours, and still more towards them that do us wrong, either by word or deed.

Examine whether your heart is thoroughly clear as regards all such, and whether it costs you a great effort to love them. Are you quick to speak ill of your neighbours, especially of such as do not love you? Do you act unkindly in any way, directly or indirectly, towards them? A very little honest self-dealing will enable you to find this out.