“It is not the actual physical exertion that counts towards a man’s progress, nor the nature of the task, but by the spirit of faith with which it is undertaken.”

— St. Francis Xavier

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“Thus sin renders the soul miserable, weak and torpid, inconstant in doing good, cowardly in resisting temptation, slothful in the observance of God’s commandments. It deprives her of true liberty and of that sovereignty which she should never resign; it makes her a slave to the world, the flesh, and the devil; it subjects her to a harder and more wretched servitude than that of the unhappy Israelites in Egypt or Babylon. Sin so dulls and stupefies the spiritual senses of man that he is deaf to God’s voice and inspirations; blind to the dreadful calamities which threaten him; insensible to the sweet odor of virtue and the example of the saints; incapable of tasting how sweet the Lord is, or feeling the touch of His benign hand in the benefits which should be a constant incitement to his greater love. Moreover, sin destroys the peace and joy of a good conscience, takes away the soul’s fervor, and leaves her an object abominable in the eyes of God and His saints. The grace of justification delivers us from all these miseries. For God, in His infinite mercy, is not content with effacing our sins and restoring us to His favor; He delivers us from the evils sin has brought upon us, and renews the interior man in his former strength and beauty. Thus He heals our wounds, breaks our bonds, moderates the violence of our passions, restores with true liberty the supernatural beauty of the soul, reestablishes us in the peace and joy of a good conscience, reanimates our interior senses, inspires us with ardor for good and a salutary hatred of sin, makes us strong and constant in resisting evil, and thus enriches us with an abundance of good works. In fine, He so perfectly renews the inner man with all his faculties that the Apostle calls those who are thus justified new men and new creatures.”

— Venerable Louis Of Grenada

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“The perfection of the spiritual life may be understood as signifying principally perfection, as it regards charity. Now there are two precepts of charity, one pertaining to the love of God; the other referring to the love of our neighbor. These two precepts bear a certain order to each other, proportioned to the order of charity. That which is chiefly to be loved, by charity, is the Supreme Good, which makes us happy, that is to say, God. In the next place, we are, by charity, to love our neighbor, who is, by certain social bonds, united to us, either by the anticipation of beatitude, or in the enjoyment of it. Hence, we are bound in charity to love our neighbor, in order that, together with him, we may arrive at beatitude. Our Lord establishes this order of charity in the Gospel of St. Matthew (xxii. 37), where He says, ‘Love the Lord your God with your whole heart and your whole soul and your whole mind. This is the first and greatest commandment; and the second is like to this: love your neighbor as yourself.’ Thus, the perfection of the spiritual life consists, primarily and principally, in the love of God. Hence the Lord, speaking to Abraham, says, ‘I am the Almighty God; walk before me and be perfect’ (Gen. xvii. 1). We walk before God, not with bodily footsteps, but with the affections of the mind. The perfection of the spiritual life consists, secondarily, in the love of our neighbor. Therefore when our Lord had said, ‘Love your enemies’ (Matt. v. 44), and had added several other precepts regarding charity to our neighbor, He concluded by saying, ‘Be therefore perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.'”

– St. Thomas Aquinas