PERFECTION 2

In order to make great strides toward perfection, it is wise to attach oneself to only one thing: one spiritual book, one virtue, one ejaculation and so forth. It is not that the other means should be rejected, but the one that has been chosen should be the principal object of attention, so that even if one needs to be attentive to other spiritual exercises these will be only secondary. However, there is one defect into which many fall, and it must be avoided. It is the defect of attaching oneself to one's practices of piety and devotions too strongly. He who has a good spirit is edified by all things and condemns nothing.
– St. Francis de Sales

Although the saints availed themselves of everything, each one had a particular practice in which he exercised himself the most. Thus St. Francis de Sales' most favorite book was Scupoli's Spiritual Combat; St. Dominic's was Cassiano's Collection; the ejaculation preferred by St. Francis was: "My God is my all"; that of St. Vincent de Paul: "In the name of God". Some stressed the practice of living in God's presence; others purity of intention; others, submission to the Divine Will; still others, self-abnegation. The same may be said about virtues. Some exercised one, others another virtue. Thus almost every saint rendered himself outstanding in one virtue in particular.

If you want a brief and efficacious method, which at the same time embraces all the other methods, to overcome any temptations and trials, and to acquire perfection, it is living in the presence of God.
– St. Basil
When Joseph was being tempted to commit sin he asked: "How can I do this in the presence of God?" And Susanna said to the wicked judges: "It is better I fall into your hands innocent than to commit sin in the sight of God."
Taide, upon learning that when she sinned she was seen by God, was converted. She remained firm in the face of many temptations, thus becoming a saint.
By contemplating Baby Jesus in the manger, let us learn how to esteem the things of the world.
– St. Francis de Sales
When St. Hedwig, Queen of Poland, became a religious, she never spoke of the things of the world unless it was for the honor of God and the salvation of souls.
The greatest guarantee that we can have of being in the state of grace does not consist in feelings and sentiments of love of God, but in the pure and irrevocable abandonment of our entire being into God's hands and in the firm resolution never to consent to sin, whether grievous or slight.
– St. Francis de Sales
St. Catherine of Genoa used to say: "I am no longer my own; whether I live or I die, I belong to my Savior. I have nothing which is my very own. My God is my all. My life is entirely His. O world, you are always the same and until now I have been the same, but from now on I will change."

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