March 12, 2008


April 1
O how unhappy are they who forsake Him, and how happy are they who remain in the abyss of that everlasting Sweetness! Sermon II

April 2
Love alone is worth everything; any other virtue without love is worth nothing. Sermon IV

April 3
What does it profit you if you settle other people's quarrels, but not your own? Sermon IV

April 4
What does it profit you if you convince others to overcome their passions, but you do not overcome your own? Sermon IV

April 5
What good is it for you if you spend beautiful words on the subject of perfection, and then, as a hypocrite, you destroy it by your actions? Sermon IV

April 6
Almsgiving, without love, profits nothing, rather it causes harm. Recall what Christ said to those Pharisees who gave out alms while, to attract everybody's attention, had a horn blown. What did Christ say? "Truly you have received your reward" (Matt 6:2) ― a reward that is none other but the glory of men. Sermon IV

April 7
God made him love Himself anew by the sheer force of love. O limitless mercy! O infinite love! God humbled Himself so much in order that man might love Him back, and through this love be saved. Sermon IV

April 8
If eloquence does not profit, if knowledge is of no benefit, if prophecy is of little worth, if working miracles does not make anyone pleasing to God, and if even almsgiving and martyrdom are of no avail without love, if it has been necessary, or most convenient, for the Son of God to come down on earth to show the way of charity and love of God, then the love of God is necessary. Yes, without God's love nothing can be accomplished, whereas everything depends on this love.
Sermon IV

April 9
Everything has been given you in order to lead you to God, that it is imperative for you to go to God by the way of separation, and above of all, separation from lukewarmness, and that it is absolutely necessary for you to refrain from saying: "I do not want to do excessive good." For, by speaking like that, you run the risk of perturbing and reducing to a bare minimum your natural instinct which tends to do as much as it can.” Sermon V

April 10
Now, tell me: do you wish to enjoy good health, entirely or only partially? To get all the goods possible or only some or none of them? To acquire only so much learning and no more? And so on with other desires you may have. Everyone wishes to reach his own end as fully as he can. Now, the end of your will is the good, that is why you desire it with all your heart and without any limit. Sermon IV

April 11
Not to go forward on the way to God, and to stand still, is indeed to go backward. You see, it is like the sea water that is never still, but rather constantly moves, flowing six hours and ebbing six hours. Yes, you cannot say that it is motionless. It is the same with man in his spiritual life: either he grows in virtue or, by not growing in it, he stagnates in vices. In other words he says farewell to virtue and back he goes [to a lukewarm and negligent way of living]. Sermon IV

April 12
God is a long way from our direct experience; God is spirit; God works in an invisible fashion. Thus, His spiritual activity cannot be seen except with the eyes of the mind and of the spirit, which in most people are blind, and in all are wavering and no longer accustomed to seeing. Sermon IV

April 13
God works in persons through persons. God follows this pattern by employing man even when He works miracles. He led the people of Israel by the hand of Moses. And so, any time man wished to move toward God, it was ― as is still now ― necessary for him to go through another man. Sermon IV

April 14
If man is to walk with God and acquire His love, he must purify himself by getting rid of all his passions, which as a whole have their origin in the body and thus need remedies, directions, and stimuli from the body. Sermon IV

April 15
Do not think it sufficient to say that, since God is spirit and man is corporeal, there is no other way to prove our love for God except through man, that God's way to deal with man is through another man, that man is to be healed by what made him ill. Sermon IV

April 16
You can read in all of Scripture that God has made your neighbor the road to reach His Majesty. Sermon IV

April 17
Do you wish to climb the mountain of perfection? Do you wish to get some spiritual gift? Do you wish to love God and be dear to Him and be His good children? Love your neighbor; take your neighbor as your compass; resolve to do good to your neighbor and never to offend him. Sermon IV

April 18
By the fourth commandment God gives an order and establishes a reward as well. He orders you to honor your father, and, if you do that, He promises you a long life. Sermon IV

April 19
The word "father" is also a term for friendship; hence, you owe respect to all people. Indeed, you have to love them all, since they all descend from one and the same origin, through the same generation and all belong to humankind. The Apostle said, "Anticipate each other in showing respect" [Rom 12:10], and, "Owe no one anything, except to love one another" [Rom 13:8]. Now, if everybody is to be loved for being a human creature like you, so much more are those to be loved who are Christians; and still more, those who wish to live a more perfect life and become excellent Christians; and above all others, the members of one's family. Sermon IV

April 20
It is in your power not only to choose evil or good, but also - and this is something greater still - to change evil into something useful and profitable for yourselves. Sermon V

April 21
No one who has common sense and right knowledge can harbor in his mind the thought that God who is Goodness itself would want evil. Sermon V

April 22
Fathers give their children bread, not a stone; fish, not serpents. Would God place the principle of evil in man's heart and, along with it, give him ruin and death? As a matter of fact, God made the heavens and the earth for man. He made man in his own image and likeness. He destined him for eternal life. Most of all, He sent His own Son in the likeness of a slave for man's salvation and gave him up to cruel death in exchange. Sermon V

April 23
Blessed are those who rejoice in their hearts and minds! May God grant you some day to savor this true and interior joy. Sermon V

April 24
So great is the excellence of free will strengthened by God's grace that man can become either a god or a devil according to what he chooses to be. Sermon V

April 25
There is no other way to prove our love for God except through man, that God's way to deal with man is through another man, that man is to be healed by what made him ill, that, furthermore, since passions are bodily, man is to be delivered from them by means of another man, and if these considerations seem insufficient to get you to believe that the love of neighbor both effects the love of God and manifests it, let this fact, at least, convince you: God became man for just this reason. Sermon IV

April 26
O the wonder of the stupendous art God manifests in everything He does! Such is man that by the power of his free will he can change evil into good. It was Paul who told you that “all things work together for the good of those who, according to God's purpose, are saints through His call” (Rom 8:28). Sermon V

April 27
Man... was created and placed on this earth chiefly and exclusively in order to reach God;the rest of creation helps him reach that goal. Sermon VI

April 28
Spiritual creatures, who have been created in order to unite themselves to God, and not to be man's end, are sent by Him to minister to man, it stands all the more to reason that bodily creatures serve man, for that is their end. Sermon VI

April 29
Spiritual writers, in fact, tell us that before man sinned, created things were for him like a Book, a Book well written in beautiful, alive, well shaped, and clearly delineated letters which he should read in order to reach God. Sermon VI

April 30
After sinned, the created things became somewhat distorted and obscure. To be sure, they were by no means erased, but became all faded, hard to read, and almost impossible to see. Sermon VI

April 31
That was when, seeing that man could hardly read that Book of created things and was therefore unable to come to know Him in all truth and often misinterpreted things altogether, God, who does not brood over our malice, intervened. And what do you think He did? In His goodness He wrote another Book ― the Book of Scripture― in which He restored the first one by putting into it all that was good in created things. By showing what is perfect, He taught us how to withdraw from what is imperfect; and by pointing out the necessary things, He eliminated the superfluous ones. Sermon VI

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