May 26: SAINT PHILIP NERI, Priest.
Born in Florence, St. Philip Neri (1515-1595) became a priest in 1551 and founded the Congregation of the Oratory. He is noted for his zeal in converting sinners through the Sacrament of Penance. He was a catechist and a spiritual guide of extraordinary talent.
Below you have some quotes from St. Philip Neri which are useful for personal meditation and preaching.
- If a man finds it very hard to forgive injuries, let him look at a crucifix, and think that Christ has shed all His Blood for him, and not only forgave his enemies, but prayed the Eternal Father to forgive them also.
- Let him remember also that when he says the Pater Noster every day, instead of asking pardon for his sins, he is calling down vengeance upon them.
- Men are generally the carpenters of their own crosses.
- Let us concentrate ourselves so completely in the divine love, and enter so far into the living fountain of wisdom, through the wounded Side of our Incarnate God, that we may deny ourselves and our self-love, and so be unable to find our way out of that Wound again.
- We must not give up praying and asking, because we do not get what we ask all at once.
- He who is unable to spend a long time together in prayer, should often lift up his mind to God by ejaculations.
- We ought to abhor every kind of affectation, whether in talking, dressing, or anything else.
- When a scrupulous person has once made up his mind that he has not consented to a temptation, he must not reason the matter over again to see whether he has really consented or not, for the same temptations often return by making this sort of reflections.
- The scrupulous should remit themselves always and in everything to the judgment of their confessor, and accustom themselves to have a contempt for their own scruples.
- Scruples are an infirmity which will make a truce with a man, but very rarely peace; humility alone comes off conqueror over them.
- Even in bodily indispositions spiritual remedies are the most helpful.
- As much love as we give to creatures, just so much we steal from the Creator.
- He who has the slightest taint of avarice about him, will never make the least advance in virtue. Avarice is the pest of the soul.
- Experience shows that men given to carnal sins are converted sooner than those who are given to avarice. All sins are highly displeasing to God, but above all sensuality and avarice, which are very difficult to cure. We must always pray God not to let the spirit of avarice domineer over us, but that we may live detached from the affections of this world,
- He who wishes to attain to perfection must have no attachment to anything.
- The greatness of our love of God must be tested by the desire we have of suffering for His love.
- The Holy Spirit is the master of prayer, and causes us to abide in continual peace and cheerfulness, which is a foretaste of Paradise. If we wish the Holy Spirit to teach us how to pray, we must practise humility and obedience.
- The fruit we ought to get from prayer, is to do what is pleasing to the Lord.
- A virtuous life consists in mortifying vices, sins, bad thoughts, and evil affections, and in exercising ourselves in the acquisition of holy virtues.
- Let us be humble and keep ourselves down:- Obedience! Humility! Detachment!
O God, who never cease to bestow the glory of holiness on the faithful servants you raise up for yourself, graciously grant that the Holy Spirit may kindle in us that fire with which he wonderfully filled the heart of Saint Philip Neri. Through our Lord.
PHOTO: Guercino, St. Philip Neri
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