A Year with the Saints – 10 August


Among our daily works, those which we ought to have most at heart are the spiritual. We should make every effort to perform them well, and let everything else yield to them, when necessity or obedience does not forbid; for they regard God most directly, and do the most to advance us in perfection. If we act otherwise, we draw upon ourselves the malediction fulminated by the Holy Spirit against those who do the work of God negligently. Saint Vincent de Paul

Saint Vincent himself lived by this rule. Though he was burdened with a great number and variety of important and urgent affairs, yet he was most exact in his ordinary spiritual exercises, which he performed always with great devotion and fervor.

When Saint Philip Neri was performing or assisting at any spiritual exercise, such as a public ceremony or the reading of devout books, he was so penetrated with emotion that sparks of fire sometimes seemed to come from his face, and a torrent of tears from his eyes. One day, while they were singing Compline in the Dominican church, he was seen to weep so profusely that the tears drenched his clothing; and in reading the Lives of the Saints, especially in his old age, he wept constantly.

When the prophet Eliseus sent Gehazi with his staff to raise to life the son of the Sunamite by its means, he ordered him not to give or return a salutation on the road. This was intended to show that when we are occupied in any spiritual exercise, we ought not be diverted to other things, even under pretext of civility.

MLA Citation