Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wisdom from…

THOMAS OF VILLANOVA (1529–1582): Listen to the Lord

This, God says, is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; listen to him. For this Son, being Truth itself, can neither deceive nor be deceived. Therefore if you listen to him, you shall not be deceived, for he is the Truth; if you follow him, you shall not go astray, for he is the Way; if you embrace him, you shall not walk in darkness, for he is the Light. Listen to him, therefore, and follow him; embrace him and imitate him.

He is the Teacher of justice who was sent into the world to give instruction to all flesh: To enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and guide our feet into the way of peace. He came to teach knowledge and justice to the upright of heart, as the prophet had foretold: Rejoice, O sons of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God for he has given you the Teacher of justice and has made the morning and evening rain descend upon you as in the beginning. Listen to him, then, all who love life and truth, all who seek the way of salvation and peace, all who desire to win everlasting happiness.
(Second Sunday of Lent, sermon 1, 10: Opera Omnia I, 463.)

Thomas of Jesus was an Augustinian friar, who, while in prision in Africa and ministering to his fellow prisoners, wrote the book The Sufferings of Jesus, a work which has guided many people on the path to holiness, particularly Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton of the United States who was greatly influenced by the work.

ST AUGUSTINE: The Force of Habit

Undeniably, we have the free power to do or not to do anything, before we are caught up in any habit. When we have used this freedom to do something, the sweetness and pleasure of the act holds our soul, and it is caught up in the sort of habit that it cannot break––by its own act of sin. If you want to see what I mean, start trying not to swear: then you will see how the force of habit goes its own way.
-- Contra Fortunatus 22

We are free, in other words, to forfeit our freedom.

Prayer. Lord, you are never needy, yet you are pleased with gain. You are never covetous, yet you exact interest on all you give us.
-- Confessions 1, 4


While we must resist great temptation with unconquerable courage, and while the victory we gain over them is in the highest degree helpful to us, it may be that we will profit more by resisting small temptations. Although great temptations exceed in quality, small ones immeasurably exceed in number, so that victory over them may be comparable to that gained over greater temptations. Therefore we must carefully prepare ourselves for such combat.
(INT. Part IV, Ch. 8, O. III, p. 307)


ONCE men sang together round a table in chorus; now one man sings alone, for the absurd reason that he can sing better. If scientific civilization goes on (which is most improbable) only one man will laugh, because he can laugh better than the rest.


1 comment:

Brad Haas said...

I am delighted.

A line from "Introduction" has stuck with me since I read it last year. Somewhere very early in the book, he said something like "It is a favorable feature of this war that, so long as we do not give up, we are certain to win."