by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori
With the 40 days of Lent beginning yesterday, I thought I would share a devotional that has always stuck with me since a very young age. As you will see from some of the quotes below, the aspirational nature of the book is difficult to live out in practice, but it is powerful in its insight into human nature. This short book is almost a pamphlet more than it is a book, but is so deeply packed with content that it is a slow and reflective read.
“He who trusts himself is lost. He who trusts God can do all things.”
“When we hear people talk of riches, honors and amusements of the world, let us remember that all things have an end, and let us then say: ‘My God, I wish for You alone and nothing more.
“The heart of man will never find true peace, if it does not empty itself of all that is not God, so as to free itself all free for His love, that He alone may possess the whole of it. But this the soul cannot do of itself; it must obtain it of God by repeated prayers.”
“Sickness is the acid test of spirituality, because it discloses whether our virtue is real or sham. If the soul is not agitated, does not break out in lamentations, is not feverishly restless in seeking a cure, but instead is submissive to the doctors and to superiors, is serene and tranquil, completely resigned to God’s will, it is a sign that that soul is well-grounded in virtue.”
“How many on account of physical beauty or robust health have plunged headlong into a life of debauchery!”
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Sticky Books are those that you just can’t get out of your head. They stick with you long after you have put the book down and have moved on to something else. These are some of my Sticky Books. I don’t enjoy reviewing books myself. I find I am either full of far too much praise for the book because I know how difficult it can be to write a book, or I am far too negative about a book because, well, I guess I was just in a bad mood. So instead of reviews, I have pulled some of my favorite quotes from each Sticky Book.