"This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. "

Thomas á Kempis

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"The Lord has always revealed to mortals the treasures of his wisdom and his spirit, but now that the face of evil bares itself more and more, so does the Lord bare his treasures more."

St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"The one thing necessary which Jesus spoke of to Martha and Mary consists in hearing the word of God and living by it."

R. Garrigou-Lagrange, OP

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St. Francis de Sales  (1567-1622)
 Bishop, Founder of the Visitation and Doctor of the Church


By St Francis de Sales

Book I. Containing A Preparation For The Whole Treatise.

Ch 13. On The Difference Of Loves.

Love is divided into two species, whereof one is called love of benevolence (or goodwill) the other of cupidity (convoitise). The love of cupidity is that by which we love something for the profit we expect from it. Love of benevolence is that by which we love a thing for its own good. For what other thing is it to have the love of benevolence for any one than to wish him good.

If he to whom we wish good have it already and possesses it, then we wish it him by the pleasure and contentment which we have to see him possessed of it, and hence springs the love of complacency, which is simply an act of the will by which it is joined and united to the pleasure, content and good of another. But in case he to whom we wish good have not yet obtained it we desire it him, and hence that love is termed love of desire.

When the love of benevolence is exercised without correspondence on the part of the beloved, it is called the love of simple benevolence; but when it is practised with mutual correspondence, it is called the love of friendship. Now mutual correspondence consists in three things; friends must love one another, know that they love one another, and have communication, intimacy and familiarity with one another.

If we love a friend without preferring him before others, the friendship is simple; if we prefer him, then this friendship will be called dilection, as if we said love of election, because we choose this from amongst many things we love, and prefer it.

Again, when by this dilection we do not much prefer one friend before others it is called simple dilection, but when, on the contrary, we much more esteem and greatly prefer one friend before others of his kind, then this friendship is called dilection by excellence.

If the esteem and preference of our friend, though great and without equal, do yet enter into comparison and, proportion with others, the friendship will be called eminent dilection, but if the eminence of it be, beyond proportion and comparison, above every other, then it is graced with the title of incomparable, sovereign and supereminent dilection, and in a word it will be charity, which is due to the one God only.

And indeed in our language the words cher, cherement, encherir, (1) represent a certain particular esteem, prize or value, so that as amongst the people the word man is almost appropriated to the male-kind as to the more excellent sex, and the word adoration is almost exclusively kept for God as for its proper object, so the name of Charity has been kept for the love of God as for supreme and sovereign dilection.

1. Meaning dear, dearly, to endear. The Saint's argument cannot be given in English. It rests on the connection between cher and charite like the Latin carus and caritas. (Tr.)