Skip to comments.The Sinner's Guide - The Inestimable Advantages Promised It (Virtue) Even in this Life
Posted on 02/10/2010 9:02:05 PM PST by GonzoII
The Sinner's Guide
Ven. Louis of Granada
With Imprimi Potest and Imprimatur
TAN BOOKS AND PUBLISHERS, INC.
Ch 11. The Eleventh Motive for Practicing Virtue:
The Inestimable Advantages Promised It Even in this Life
With such powerful reasons for embracing virtue, I know not what excuse men can make for refusing to practice it. That pagans, who are ignorant of its value, do not prize it is not astonishing. A peasant digging in the earth and finding a precious stone will probably throw it away, because he does not know its worth. But that Christians, who have been taught the value and beauty of virtue, continue to live in forgetfulness of God and wedded to the things of this world, as if there were no such thing as death or judgment, or Heaven or Hell, is a continual subject of sorrowful wonder. Whence this blindness, whence this folly?
It has several causes, the principal of which is the mistaken opinion of the generality of men, who believe that no advantages are to be reaped from virtue in this life, that its rewards are reserved for the life to come.
Men are so powerfully moved by self-interest, and present objects make such an impression upon them, that they think very little of future rewards and seek only their immediate satisfaction. The same was true even in the days of the prophets; for when Ezechiel made any promise or uttered any threat in the name of the Lord, people laughed at him and said to one another, "The vision that this man seeth is for many days to come; and this man prophesieth of times afar off." [Ezech. 12: 27] In like manner did they ridicule the prophet Isaias: "Command, command again, command, command again; expect, expect again, expect, expect again." [Is. 28: 10] Solomon teaches us the same when he says, "Because sentence is not speedily pronounced against the evil, the children of men commit evils without any fear … Because all things equally happen to the just and the wicked … to him that offereth victims and to him that despiseth sacrifices … the hearts of the children of men are filled with evil, and with contempt while they live, and afterwards they shall be brought down to Hell." [Eccles. 8: 11; 9: 2-3]
Yes, because the wicked seem to prosper in the world they conclude that they are safe, and that the labor of virtue is all in vain. This they openly confess by the mouth of the prophet Malachias, saying, "He laboreth in vain that serveth God; and what profit is it that we have kept His ordinances, and that we have walked sorrowful before the Lord of hosts? Wherefore now we call the proud people happy, for they that work wickedness are built up, and they have tempted God and are preserved." [Mal. 3: 14-15] This is the language of the reprobate, and is the most powerful motive which impels them to continue in sin; for, in the words of St. Ambrose, "They find it too difficult to buy hopes at the cost of dangers, to sacrifice present pleasures to future blessings." To destroy this serious error I know nothing better than the touching words of Our Savior weeping over Jerusalem: "If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are for thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy eyes." [Lk. 19: 42]
Our Divine Lord considered the advantages which this people had received from Him; the happiness He had reserved for them; and the ingratitude with which they rejected Him when He came to them in meekness and humility. For this they were to lose not only the treasures and graces of His coming, but even their temporal power and freedom. This it was which caused Him to shed such bitter tears and to foretell the unhappy fate that was in store for His people. His words apply with great force to our present subject.
Consider the inestimable riches, the abundant graces, which accompany virtue; yet it is a stranger, a wanderer on earth. Men seem to be blind to these divine blessings. Have we not, therefore, reason to weep and to cry out, O man, if thou also hadst known? If thou hadst known the peace, the light, the strength, the sweetness, and the riches of virtue, thou wouldst have opened thy heart to it, thou wouldst have spared no sacrifice to win it. But these blessings are hidden from worldlings, who regard only the humble exterior of virtue, and, having never experienced its unutterable sweetness, they conclude that it contains nothing but what is sad and repulsive.
They know not that Christian philosophy is like its Divine Founder, Who, though exteriorly the humblest of men, was nevertheless God and sovereign Lord of all things. Hence the Apostle tells the faithful that they are dead to the world, that their "life is hid with Christ in God." [Col. 3: 3] Just as the glory of Christ was hidden by the veil of His humanity, so should the glory of His faithful followers be concealed in this world. We read that the ancients made certain images, called Silenes, which were rough and coarse exteriorly, but most curiously and ingeniously wrought within. The ignorant stopped at the exterior and saw nothing to prize, but those who understood their construction looked within and were captivated by the beauty they there beheld. Such have been the lives of the prophets, the Apostles, and all true Christians, for such was the life of their Divine Model.
If you still tell me that the path of virtue is rugged, that its duties are difficult, I beg you to consider the abundant and powerful aids which God gives you. Such are the infused virtues, interior graces, the gifts of the Holy Ghost, the sacraments of the New Law, with other Divine favors, which are to us like sails to a ship, or wings to a bird, to help us on our voyage to eternity. Reflect upon the very name and nature of virtue. It is a noble habit, which, like all other habits, ought to make us act with facility and pleasure. Remember also that Christ has promised His followers not only the riches of glory, but those of grace: the former for the life to come, the latter for this present life. "The Lord," says the prophet, "will give grace and glory." [Ps. 83: 12] The treasures of grace are for this life, and the riches of glory are for the next.
Consider further with what care God provides for the necessities of all creatures. How generously He supplies even the smallest creatures with all that is necessary to the end for which they were created! Is it not unreasonable then, to think that He will disregard the necessities of man, the most important of which is virtue, and leave him a prey to his weak will, his darkened understanding, and his corrupt nature? The world and the prince of darkness are most assiduous in procuring vain pleasures and joys for those who serve them. Can you doubt, then, that God will grant refreshment, light, and peace to His faithful in the midst of the labors performed for Him? What did God wish to teach us by the words of the prophet: "You shall return, and shall see the difference between the just and the wicked, and between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not." [Mal. 3: 18] Was it not that if we would be converted we would see and know, even in this life, the rewards of the good, "the difference between the just and the wicked"? We would behold the contrast between the true riches of the just and the poverty of the wicked; between the joy of the former and the misery of the latter; between the peace of the one and the conflicts of the other; between the light with which the good are surrounded and the darkness by which the wicked are enveloped. Experience will show you the real value of virtue and how far it exceeds your former anticipations.
Upon another occasion God replied in like manner to men who, having been deceived by appearances, ridiculed the virtuous, saying, "Let the Lord be glorified, and we shall see in your joy." [Is. 66: 5] After depicting the torments which God's justice prepares for the wicked, Isaias thus describes the happiness reserved for the just: "Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her. Rejoice for joy with her, all you that mourn for her. That you may suck, and be filled with the breasts of her consolation; that you may milk out, and flow with delights, from the abundance of her glory. For thus saith the Lord: Behold I will bring upon her as it were a river of peace, and as an overflowing torrent, the glory of the Gentiles, which you shall suck; you shall be carried at the breasts, and upon the knees they shall caress you. As one whom the mother caresseth, so will I comfort you, and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And you shall see, and your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb, and the hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants …" [Is. 66: 10-14] Yes, "the hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants"; for as men by the beauties and wonders of the universe judge of the infinite beauty and omnipotence of God, so shall the just recognize the infinite love and goodness of God in the incomparable joys and favors which He will bestow upon them.
As a further proof of what has been said, I will add the remarkable words uttered by Our Savior when St. Peter asked what reward they would have for leaving all things for love of Him: "Amen I say to you, there is no man who hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or lands for my sake and for the Gospel, who shall not receive a hundred times as much, now in this time … and in the world to come life everlasting." [Mk. 10: 29-30] Mark how explicitly the rewards of this life and the next are distinguished. Nor can we doubt these words, for they are those of Him Who has said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away."
And what is this hundredfold which the just receive in this life? Honors, riches, titles, and dignities are not their portion; the greater number of the just lead hidden, obscure lives, forgotten by the world and overwhelmed with infirmities. How, then, does God fulfill His infallible promise to give them a hundredfold even in this life? Ah! It is not with the perishable goods of this world that He will reward His servants.
Joy and peace and happiness are the spiritual treasures with which the liberality of our God enriches those who love Him. These are the blessings which the world does not know, and which the wealth of the world can never buy. And how fitting this is; for as man does not live by bread alone, so the craving of his soul cannot be satisfied by anything short of spiritual blessings.
Study the lives of the Saints, and you will see that they have received the hundredfold promised in this life. In exchange for the false riches which they forsook, they received true riches which they can bear with them to eternity. For the turmoil and conflicts of the world, they received that "peace which surpasseth all understanding." Their tears, their fasting, and their prayers brought them more joy and consolation than they could ever hope to obtain from the fleeting pleasures of this life.
If, then, you have forsaken an earthly father for love of God, your Heavenly Father will receive you as His child, and make you His heir to an everlasting inheritance. If you have despised earthly pleasures for love of Him, He will fill you with the incomparable sweetness of Heavenly consolations. The eyes of your soul will be opened, and you will love and cherish what formerly frightened you. What was The formerly bitter will become sweet; and, enlightened by grace, you will see the emptiness of worldly joys, and you will learn to relish the delights of God's love. Thus does He manifest His merciful goodness; thus does He fulfill His promise to us.
The annals of the Cistercian Order mention an incident which, in connection with our subject, is worth recording. Arnulph, a man of prominence in Flanders, who was strongly wedded to the things of this world, was converted by the preaching of St. Bernard. He was so touched by grace that he became a Cistercian monk. On a certain occasion he fell dangerously sick and remained unconscious for some time. The monks, believing him to be dying, administered Extreme Unction. But soon after, his consciousness returned, and he broke out into transports of praise, frequently repeating, "How true are Thy words, O merciful Jesus!" To the questions of his brethren he continued to repeat, "How true are Thy words, O merciful Jesus!" Some of them remarked that pain had made him delirious. "No, my brethren," he exclaimed; "I am conscious, I am in full possession of my senses, and again I assure you that all the words Jesus has uttered are true."
"But we do not doubt this," said the monks; "why do you repeat it so often?"
"God tells us in the Gospel," he answered, "that he who forsakes earthly affections for love of Him shall receive a hundredfold in this world, and in the world to come, life everlasting, and I have already experienced the truth of His promise. Great as my present pains are, I would not exchange them, with the anticipation of Heavenly sweetness which they have procured me, for a hundred or a thousand fold of the pleasures I forsook in the world. If a guilty sinner like me receives such sweetness and consolation in the midst of his pains, what must be the joys of perfect souls?" The monks marveled to hear a man of no learning speak so wisely, but recognized in his words the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we must conclude that the just, though deprived of earthly blessings, enjoy the rewards promised to virtue in this life. To convince you more fully of this we shall treat in the following chapters of the twelve privileges attached to virtue in this world. Taken as a whole, they are the twelfth motive for practicing virtue. We shall treat of each, however, in a separate chapter. Though some experience in the practice of virtue is necessary to comprehend what we are about to say, yet the want of it may be supplied by our faith in the Holy Scriptures, which firmly establish the doctrine we are teaching.
To our well-beloved Son, Louis of Granada, of the Order of Friars Preachers
Dearly Beloved Son, Health and Apostolic Benediction:
Your arduous and incessant labors, both for the conversion of sinners and for the guidance of souls to perfection, together with the valuable assistance you render those who are earnestly engaged in the work of the ministry, have always afforded us great consolation.
Your sermons and writings, filled with sublime doctrine and practical piety, are unceasingly drawing souls to God. This is particularly gratifying to us, for all who have profited by your teaching [and their number is very great] may be considered as so many souls gained to Christ. You have thus benefited your fellow creatures more than if you had given sight to the blind and raised the dead to life. For the knowledge of the Eternal Light and the enjoyment of the heavenly life, according as they are given to man on earth to know and enjoy, are far above the knowledge and enjoyment of the transitory goods of this world.
The charity with which you have devoted yourself to your great and important labor has gained for you many crowns.
Continue, then, to devote all your energies to the prosecution of your undertakings. Finish what you have begun, for we understand that you have some works yet incomplete. Give them to the world for the health of the sick, for the strength of the weak, for the delight of God’s servants, and for the glory of the Church both militant and triumphant.
Given at Rome the 21st of July, 1582, of our pontificate.
GREGORY PP. XIII
Venerable Louis of Granada His Life and Work
The life of Venerable Louis of Granada [1504-1588] paralleled to a remarkable degree the greatest era of the Spanish Empire-----that empire known as "the evangelizer of half the world, the hammer of heretics, and the light of the Council of Trent." Louis himself is known as "the writer of the Spanish empire." He was born only shortly after the famous year 1492, when Spain had, under King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, defeated the Moors after eight centuries of Moorish occupation and oppression in Spain and financed Christopher Columbus' momentous voyage to America. These were the times of Spain's intense exploration and missionary activity in the New World, of the Council of Trent [1548-1563], and of the great Christian victory over the Turks at Lepanto .
The end of this glorious era is marked by the great defeat in 1588 of the "invincible" Spanish Armada off the coast of England, an event which signaled the beginning of the end of Spain's brief but glorious reign as a world power. This was also the very year of Louis' death. But during the early and mid-16th century, Catholic Spain gave to the world many priceless gifts; not least of these were the books of her renowned son, Ven. Louis of Granada.
In the aftermath of the surrender of the Moors in 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella were faced with the task of making Granada a Spanish city once again. In order to hasten the influx of Spanish influence into the city and the blending of the Moorish and the Spanish people, Ferdinand and Isabella granted free entrance to the city of Granada to any Spaniard from the provinces who wished to settle there. One young couple who took advantage of this opportunity was Francis Sarria and his wife [whose name has been lost to history], a couple who in 1504 became the parents of a son named Louis, later to become famous as "Louis of Granada." Unfortunately, Francis died in 1509, and Louis and his mother were reduced to poverty, being supported by alms from the Dominican Monastery. After a few years of destitution, there occurred an event whereby Louis de Sarria's fortunes changed suddenly and dramatically. While engaged in a street fight with a boy who had insulted his mother, Louis was discovered by the Count de Tendilla, Mayor of the Alhambra, who was impressed with his courage. The Count took Louis under his patronage. Thereafter Louis spent many hours on the balconies of the Alhambra; thus, in addition to his other education, his soul was fed by the magnificent beauty of the surrounding countryside, fueling that deep love for the beauty of nature which was to be a hallmark of his thought and writing for the rest of his life. When Louis de Sarria reached young manhood, he turned his path toward the religious life. At the same Dominican Monastery where he had begged alms as an orphaned child, the Convent of the Holy Cross, he received the habit of a Friar Preacher on June 15, 1524, to the joyful tears of his beloved mother. A year later he made his religious profession. At the Convent of the Holy Cross, Friar Louis, or Fray Louis, as he was called, undertook the rigorous Dominican ratio studiorum: a review of Latin and then three years of Philosophy and three years of Theology. Among the the texts used were the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. Louis de Sarria was brilliant in scholastic disputations; he had no equal in mental capacity, application to study, and exact observance of the monastic life.
After some time, he was awarded a scholarship to the celebrated College of St. Gregory in Valladolid. Arriving there in 1529, he spent the designated eight days in preparation for taking the oath to uphold the statutes of the College; thus Louis de Sarria became formally invested in the College of St. Gregory, taking on both the honors and the obligations thereof. In the mind of the young friar, his first duty was worthily to represent Holy Cross Convent of Granada. Grateful for the confidence placed in him by his fellow religious of Holy Cross, he changed his name from Fray Louis de Sarria to Fray Louis of Granada. With such great seriousness did the Spanish ecclesiastical student of the 16th century hold his exalted position as a knight of Thomistic truth.
But there was more than learning in Louis' heart and soul. By prayer and penance, as well as study, he was preparing for a future apostolate of preaching.
In the year 1534, at the age of 30, because of his ardent longings for the apostolate, Louis stepped forward and generously offered himself as a missionary to Mexico. Although he had not yet completed his eight-year course of studies, he was willing to abandon the lecture halls. He was all prepared to leave for the Americas; but when his departure was imminent, Fray Louis' superior commanded him to cancel his trip and let another go in his place.
This was a tremendous disappointment for Fray Louis. In fact, although he obediently accepted the sacrifice, the longing for the mission field remained a thorn in his soul all his life. This event ushered in a deepening in the soul of Louis of Granada. More and more he realized that prayer, rather than study, is the way to true spiritual knowledge of Christ. He saw more clearly that his goal should be to live the life of Christ within his own soul, and then to preach Christ to others. He even began to have a distaste for study. In this regard, the writings of the famous Master John of Avila also had a great influence in j the changing of Fray Louis' attitude. At this time there also awakened in him his vocation as a spiritual writer. He desired that the riches of the spiritual treasure should be imparted to and shared by all, and the means by which he intended to diffuse them were preaching and writing. In 1539, at the age of 35, he wrote a small tract on the method of prayer for a student at St. Gregory in Valladolid who had written to him for advice: this little tract is spirituality pure and simple. It is the first lecture of Fray Louis from the chair of Spanish spirituality. This same tract was later to be transformed into a work that would make Fray Louis' name immortal:
The Book of Prayer and Meditation.
In 1544 the Dominican Order gave Louis the title of Preacher General. In 1546, he was granted the privilege of going anywhere in Spain to preach, in the company of a companion of his choosing, and no superior could prevent his preaching. During this period, Fray Louis spent much of his time traveling and preaching. He was in demand everywhere as a preacher and spiritual director-----even among the royalty. He became widely known as a holy friar, a preacher, and a man of great administrative ability.
About the year 1552, Queen Catherine of Portugal, the sister of Charles V, selected him as her confessor and advisor. Practically the rest of his life was spent in Portugal, with occasional visits to Spain. Because of his great knowledge and his practical talents, Fray Louis was frequently called upon to help settle problems arising among the royalty-----important problems upon which might hang the welfare of entire nations. But all such dealings with worldly affairs were painful to him, and appear to have constituted the greatest cross of his later life.
In addition, in 1556 he was elected Provincial of the Dominican Province of Portugal. A year later he turned down Queen Catherine's offer of the archbishopric of Braga, which would have made him Primate of Portugal. In the midst of such preoccupations, Fray Louis never forgot his apostolate of spiritual writing.
In 1554 The Book of Prayer and Meditation was published. Its success was a complete surprise, especially to Fray Louis, but it confirmed him in his vocation of spiritual writer. From that time forward he dedicated himself with a divine impatience to writing on spiritual themes for all. He led the left of an ascetic; his cell was poor and possessions meager: a wooden bed, crude table, a few books, some paper and and instruments of penance. He received quite a lot of money for his writings, all of which went to the poor. His chief virtues of excellence were meekness, humility, and good counsel.
This affable and simple religious, entirely given to the things of God, was very active and even dynamic. He rose at four in the morning and spent two hours in prayer. At six o'clock he celebrated Mass with remarkable solemnity and devotion. In those days priests were not accustomed to celebrate Mass every day, but Fray Louis never omitted it, and stated that the best preparation for the celebration of Mass was to celebrate daily. After Mass he devoted himself to a lengthy thanksgiving and then returned to his cell to begin the labors of the day.
The 16th century was a most turbulent time in the history of the Church, a time whose terrible legacy of heresy and apostasy is still with us today. [It was also a century of many, many great Saints.] There was a crying need for true Catholic reform, but many heretics had arisen to feed the faithful with stones and scorpions instead of bread. An un-Christian humanism was spreading its contagion of rebellion against God; and in 1517, when Fray Louis was 12 years old, Martin Luther took the step that was to launch the tragic heresy of external justification, a doctrine which smothered the true supernatural life of the soul and thus led to the most man-centered form of humanism. Another error which was spreading at the time was a false form of spirituality which claimed that religion should be something completely interior. A fourth error was Quietism, which discounted the effort required for the Christian soul to grow in grace and virtue. A goodly number of spiritual writers of the time fell into one or another of these traps.
Louis of Granada, on the other hand, was a voice of true orthodox Catholic reform. Although, in the confusion, he was for a time accused of heresy, this false charge was disposed of at Trent and Rome. Louis presented life in Christ as the life proper to all Christians, and he showed the essential role which the virtues play in the growth of this life. He showed how grace is essential to life in Christ, and how the Christian must receive the Sacraments and pray in order to obtain the necessary grace of God. Thus, by reading Fray Louis' true picture of the Christian life, the 16th century Catholic-----as well as the Catholic of today-----is protected against many errors and given true and powerful spiritual food. His soul is protected against man-centered humanism, against the error of external justification without an inner transformation into holiness in the soul, the error of religion as being something entirely interior and independent of laws and ceremonies, and the error that the christian need not expand an effort to grow in grace. The teaching in his works is firmly orthodox, completely Catholic.
In his 35 years of writing, Fray Louis produced 49 works. These can be classified into five categories: spiritual theology, apologetics, hagiography, sacred oratory, and translations. Some of his books are masterpieces of spiritual theology. These are The Book of Prayer and Meditation, a book that laments the miseries of life and manifests spiritual contempt for the world-----this is the one of his books that Louis loved best, and one that has served as a manual of prayer for countless souls; The Sinner's Guide [first published in 1556], a masterwork of Aristotelian symmetry and the most scholastic work of Fray Louis, a book which covers from myriad angles the virtues of the Christian life, proving that this life is the only way to true happiness [even on earth]; Introduction to the Creed, a gigantic work written in Louis' old age, but which breathes the spirit of youth. This work shows Louis' preoccupation with the conversion of the Jews and Mohammedans; he knew the Oriental mind very well, and in this book he shows, among many other things, that only Catholicism can give God due worship. This is undoubtedly his most admirable book, and modern critics never cease to be amazed at the genius that produced it.
Louis' books have been translated into 25 different languages, including Syrian, Arabic, and Japanese, in addition to the European languages. There have been some 6 thousand editions of Fray Louis' works. In fact, it is known from tales brought back by missionaries that the Japanese version of The Sinner's Guide was one of the bulwarks that sustained the faith of the Japanese Catholics during two centuries of terrible persecution, when both in Europe and Japan, Japanese Christianity was believed dead. In 1865, when missionaries were again allowed into Japan, missionary Father Bernard Petitjean was astonished to find in the hills around Nagasaki thousands of Japanese Catholics who had kept the Faith, hidden but vital, without priests, for over 200 years! Immense was the joy of these faithful ones at once again having a Catholic priest among them. The Sinner's Guide had played a providential role in sustaining the Faith in their souls during that trying time.
The works of Fray Louis were included in the precious cargo brought to the New World by the Spanish missionaries; these missionaries even translated some of Granada's works into the native Indian languages. St. Rose of Lima, too, loved the books of Fray Louis; she had them always at hand. Her favorite was The Book of Prayer and Meditation. In one of her struggles with the devil, she protected herself by reading this book; the devil became furious, snatched the book from her, and threw it onto a rubbish heap. Rose remain unmoved, certain that the Lord would return it to her-----as indeed He did.
Other famous Catholics who have read and loved the works of Venerable Louis include St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise de Marillac, St. Francis de Sales, Cardinal Berulle and Bossuet (all French); St. Charles Borromeo (Italian), Louis of Leon (Spanish), and the Jesuit and Barnabite Orders. St. Teresa read Louis' books and commanded her nuns to do the same. She credited The Sinner's Guide with having converted over a million souls. In some religious rules and constitutions the works of Louis were mentioned as almost obligatory spiritual reading for the novices. There was no bishop in Spain in the 17th and 18th centuries who did not eulogize, recommend, and even grant indulgences for the reading of the works of Fray Louis.
St. Francis de Sales urged a Bishop-elect of his acquaintance to read the works or Louis of Granada, and to treat them as a second breviary. He advised this man to read them slowly, beginning with The Sinner's Guide.
In Advent of 1588, when he was nearly 84 years old, Louis' health was unusually poor. Nevertheless he prayed more, fasted more, and took his discipline. In December he began to have attacks of nausea and vomiting which left him extremely weakened. By December 30 all hope for his recovery was abandoned. On December 31, 1588, in the bare and humble cell at Santo Domingo where monarchs of the world had visited him, it was obvious that Fray Louis' lamp of life was almost extinguished. With tears of joy he received the Last Sacraments. The novices knelt at the door to his cell for a last farewell. Fray Louis sensed the approach of death, and asked that they place him in his coffin. Then, at nine in the evening, he breathed his last and exchanged the counting of years for eternity.
Chapter 1: The First Motive which Obliges us to Practice Virtue and to Serve God: His Being in Itself, and the Excellence of His Perfections
Chapter 2: The Second Motive which Obliges us to Practice Virtue and to Serve God: Gratitude for our Creation
Chapter 3. The Third Motive which Obliges us to Serve God: Gratitude for our Preservation and for the Government of His Providence
Chapter 4. The Fourth Motive which Obliges us to Practice Virtue: Gratitude for the Inestimable Benefit of our Redemption
Chapter 5. The Fifth Motive which Obliges us to Practice Virtue: Gratitude for our Justification
Chapter 6. The Sixth Motive which Obliges us to Practice Virtue: Gratitude for the Incomprehensible Benefit of Election
Chapter 7. The Seventh Motive for Practicing Virtue: The Thought of Death, the First of the Four Last Things
Chapter 8. The Eighth Motive for Practicing Virtue: The Thought of the Last Judgment, the Second of the Four Last Things
Chapter 9. The Ninth Motive for Practicing Virtue: The Thought of Heaven, the Third of the Four Last Things
Chapter 10. The Tenth Motive for Practicing Virtue: The Thought of Hell, the Fourth of the Four Last Things
Ch 11. The Eleventh Motive for Practicing Virtue: The Inestimable Advantages Promised It Even in this Life
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