St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Dekaena to the Holy Spirit
THE MORE we love God, the more holy we become. St. Francis Bargia says it is prayer that introduces divine love into the human heart and mortification that withdraws the heart from the world and renders it capable of receiving this holy fire. The more there is of the world in the heart, the less room there is for holy love: "Wisdom is [not to be] found in the land of them that live in delights" (Job 28:12-13). Hence the saints have always sought to mortify as much as possible their self-love and their senses. The saints are few but we must live with the few if we will be saved with the few. St. Bernard says, "That cannot be perfect which is not singular." He who would lead a perfect life must lead a singular one.
But above all, in order to become saints, it is necessary to have the desire to be saints; we must have the desire and the resolution. Some are always desiring, but they never begin to put their hands to the work. "Of these irresolute souls," says St. Teresa, "the devil has no fear." On the other hand, the saint said, "God is a friend of generous souls."
The devil tries to make it appear to us as pride to think of doing great things for God. It would indeed be pride in us if we thought of doing them all by ourselves, trusting in our own strength; but it is not pride to resolve to become saints trusting in God and saying, "I can do all things in Him Who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13). We must therefore be of good courage, make strong resolutions, and begin. Prayer can do everything. What we cannot do by our own strength, we can do easily with the help of God, Who has promised to give us whatever we ask of Him: "You shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you." (Jn. 15:7).
Affections and Prayers
Sweet Redeemer of my soul, Thou desirest to be loved by me and Thou commanded me to love Thee with all my heart, and with all my heart I desire to love Thee, O my Jesus. I will even go so far as to say to Thee: O my God, such is the trust I have in Thy mercy that my sins do not inspire me with fear, since I hate and detest them above every other evil.
I know besides that Thou rememberest not the offenses of one who repents and who loves Thee. Nay more, since I have offended Thee more than others, I wish to love Thee more than others.
O my Lord, Thou wantest me to be a saint and I wish to become one in order to please Thee. I love Thee, infinite Goodness. I give myself entirely to Thee. Thou art my one good, my only love. Do not turn me away, O my love. Make me all Thine. Do not permit me to displease Thee again. Grant that I may sacrifice myself entirely for Thee, as Thou hast sacrificed Thyself entirely for me.
Mary, most loving and beloved Spouse of the Holy Spirit, obtain for me love and faithfulness. Amen. Amen. Amen.