"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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"It is vanity to be concerned with the present only and not to make provision for things to come."

Thomas á Kempis

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"Obedience is the true holocaust which we sacrifice to God on the altar of our hearts."

St Philip Neri

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St. Catherine of Siena  (1347-1380)
 Doctor of the Church

 
THE DIALOGUE OF ST CATHERINE OF SIENA

Dictated by her, while is a state of ecstasy, to her secretaries, and completed in the year of Our Lord 1370.

A TREATISE OF OBEDIENCE

4. Of those who have such love for obedience that they do not remain content with the general obedience of precepts, but take on themselves a particular obedience.


"There are some, My dearest daughter, in whom the sweet and amorous fire of love towards obedience burns so high (which fire of love cannot exist without hatred of self-love, so that when the fire increases so does this self-hatred), that they are not content to observe the precepts of the Law with a general obedience as you are all obliged to do if you will have life and not death, but take upon themselves a particular obedience, following the greatest perfection, so that they become observers of the counsels both in deed and in thought.

"Such as these wish to bind themselves more tightly through self-hatred, and in order to restrain in everything their own will. They either place themselves under the yoke of obedience in holy religion, or, without entering religion, they bind themselves to some creature, submitting their will to his, so as more expeditiously to unlock the door of Heaven.

"These are they, as I have told you, who have chosen the most perfect obedience. I have already spoken to you of obedience in general, and as I know it to be your will that I should speak to you of this particular and most perfect obedience, I will now relate to you somewhat of this second kind, which is not divided from the first, but is more perfect, for, as I have already told you, these two kinds of obedience are so closely united together that they cannot be separated.

"I have told you where general obedience is to be found and whence it proceeds, and the cause of its loss. Now I will speak to you of this particular obedience, not altering, however, the fundamental principle of the virtue."