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“A Christian, says Saint Bernard, who has no one at hand who gives him occasion to suffer, should seek such a person eagerly and buy him at any price, that he may have opportunity to practice meekness and patience. If you are not disposed to go to this expense, at least profit of whatever opportunities divine Providence has given you gratuitously, that you may accustom yourself to the exercise of these two inestimable virtues.” Sounds like harsh advice, but Father Quadrupani explains how this will bring us light and peace. “Your vocal prayers should be few in number but said with great fervor. The strength derived from food does not depend upon the quantity taken but upon its being well digested. Far better one Our Father or one Psalm said with devout attention than entire rosaries and long offices recited hurriedly and with restless eagerne3ss.” Father Quadrupani advises in his section on vocal prayer. He quotes Saint Francis de Sales, who says: “When your mind wanders or gives way to distractions, gently recall it and place it once more close to its Divine master. IF you should do nothing else but repeat this during the whole time of prayer, your hour would be very well spent and you would perform a spiritual exercise most acceptable to God.” He also quotes from Saint Augustine: “You pray often if you have a desire to pay homage to God by your actions: you pray always if you always have this desire, no matter how you may be otherwise employed.” And these are just a few gems in this wonderful spiritual classic. He warns those who wish to pile devotion upon devotion: “Excess even in holy things is wrong, as virtue ends where excess begins.” He gives advice on all aspects of our life to help us become the saints God has called us to become. “Conversation should be marked by a gentle and devout pleasantness, and your manner when engaged in it, ought to be equable, composed and gracious. Mildness and cheerfulness make devotion and those who practice it attractive to others.” This reminds us of our duty to bring others to the happiness that can be only found in the devout practice of Catholicism by showing by our demeanor how happy we truly are. Light and Peace will lead us to this happiness.
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