A Year with the Saints – 2 July

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Simplicity is nothing but an act of charity pure and simple, which has but one sole end – that of gaining the love of God. Our soul is then truly simple, when we have no aim at all but this, in all we do. – Saint Francis de Sales

Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi once said: “If I thought that by saying a word, however indifferent, for any other end than the love of God, I could become a Seraph, I certainly would not say it.”

The devil, envying a young monk who was making good progress, appeared one night to his Master of Novices under the form of a good Angel, and informed him that his disciple was already reprobated and that whatever good he did was of no use to him. The Master of Novices was much grieved at this and could not refrain from tears whenever he met the young man, who one day asked him the reason of his grief. When he told it, the novice said: “Father, do not grieve for this. If I am to be damned, I shall be damned; if I am to be saved, I shall be saved. I serve God not for the Kingdom of Heaven, but for His goodness and love towards me, and for the Passion He has suffered for me. If, then, He chooses to give me His Paradise, He can do it: and if He wishes to give me Hell, He can indeed do it; I am content that He should do with me what pleases Him.” The following night, a true Angel appeared to the Master of Novices and told him the one he had previously seen was a devil, and that his disciple had merited more by his act of resignation than by all the good life he had hitherto led.

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