A Year with the Saints – 7 November


It should be observed that perfect love of God consists not in those delights, tears, and sentiments of devotion that we generally seek, but in a strong determination and keen desire to please God in all things, and to take care, as far as possible, not to offend Him, and to promote His glory. Saint Teresa of Avila

Saint Jane Frances de Chantal showed how well she understood this great truth, by a letter she sent to the Superior of a Religious who was looked upon as a soul filled with the love of God, because she enjoyed extraordinary consolations. “This good girl,” she wrote, “greatly needs to be undeceived. She believes herself highly elevated in the love of God, yet she is not much advanced in virtue. I believe that these fervors and exaltations which she feels are the work of nature and self-love. Therefore, she should be shown that the real strength of love consists not in enjoying the Divine sweetness, but rather in exact observance of the Rules, and the faithful practice of solid virtue – that is, in humility, the love of contempt, patient endurance of insults and adversities, self-forgetfulness, and a love that seeks not to be known except by God. This alone is true love, and these are its unerring tokens. May God preserve us from that sensible love which allows us to live in ourselves, while the true leads us to die to ourselves.”

Such was the love of Saint Thomas Aquinas, of whom it is recorded that he kept his soul always as pure and true as that of a child five years old.

MLA Citation