A Year with the Saints – 18 July


When anyone has to choose a state of life, and wishes to know what he should do for the good of his soul, let him first strip himself of every inclination of his own, and place himself generously in the hands of God, equally ready for whatever He may call him to. Then let him apply some Gospel truths to the matter, draw from them their legitimate consequence, and see how they relate to the ultimate end for which God has created us. If he still remains uncertain, let him imagine himself on his death bed, or before the judgment seat, which will teach him to do what he will then wish he had done. – Saint Ignatius Loyola

Saint Vincent de Paul was once obliged to send a man of business to Tunis, on account of a commission entrusted to him. He fixed upon a lawyer of high standing and wrote to him, explaining the advantages and disadvantages of the position and leaving him to decide whether he would accept it. The lawyer answered the letter in person, told his objections, and begged Saint Vincent to manifest to him the will of God. The Saint preferred that he should take the advice of some other person; but as the lawyer insisted that he wished for no opinion but his, Saint Vincent asked for a short delay. The day after, he gave this answer: “I offered your difficulties to God in the Mass, and after the Consecration I threw myself at His feet, praying Him to enlighten me. After this I considered attentively how I should wish to have advised you, if I were at the point of death; and it seemed to me that if I were about to die, I should be glad to have told you to go, and sorry to have dissuaded you from going. Such is my sincere opinion; but for all this, you can go or stay.” The lawyer was much edified by such detachment.

A pious lady, being asked by a poor man for some clothing, ordered her servant to bring him a shirt. When she brought one that was coarse and torn, she told her to find a better one – adding that it would cause her much shame if Christ, on the Day of Judgment, should show that shirt to all the world.

MLA Citation