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 Post subject: Favorite Saintly book on virtues?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:36 am 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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I have asked 3 priests now and came up empty handed still. I am looking for a book(s) by Saints or Doctors of the Church which discuss virtues and are particularly inspiring and instructional. Trying to live a more virtuous life in this world often it would be helpful to read more thoroughly what does it look like to practice those virtues beyond the simple platitudes that are offered in regards to such things. Especially the virtues of humility and charity, although of course any and all virtues are good to strive towards. Also, as a bonus books by Saints or Doctors are more likely to be found in the public domain.

Any thoughts are appreciated, would love to hear what others found helpful in that regard. Or if you just have a quick hint of Saints that I should look towards for inspiration. Thanks in advance for any and all of your thoughts.

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 Post subject: Re: Favorite Saintly book on virtues?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:40 am 
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No one recommended "The Imitation of Christ"? Or have you already read it?

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 Post subject: Re: Favorite Saintly book on virtues?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:09 am 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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Nope-haven't read and wasn't recommended. I got rec's for something about Blsd Mother Theresa(nothing specific) and the catechism. I will put that on the list, thank you so much.

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 Post subject: Re: Favorite Saintly book on virtues?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:18 am 
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Prodigal Son of Thunder
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I would not say that it deal specifically with the virtues but there are many exhortations to humility.

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 Post subject: Re: Favorite Saintly book on virtues?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:37 am 
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I love The Imitation. It's one of my favorite books. It is somewhat geared toward priests and religious, though, so you should keep that in mind. It's fairly obvious when he's speaking specifically to priests or religious.

I don't mean to harp on it, but Intro to the Devout Life by St Francis de Sales is the best book I know of for people seeking holiness in the world. It's very practical. He also has lots of letters of spiritual direction written to people in the world. You can find a good number of these for free online on google books.

The Imitation and Intro can both be found for free online here: http://www.catholictreasury.info/library.php and probably many other places online as well.

Abandonment to Divine Providence is good, which is also on that site, and I am also very fond of St Alphonsus' 50 Maxims of perfection. That might not be quite what you're looking for but it's very good, helpful, and practical. I'll reproduce it below:

Quote:
1. To desire ardently to increase in the love of Jesus Christ.
2. Often to make acts of love towards Jesus Christ. Immediately on waking, and before going to sleep, to make an act of love, seeking always to unite your own will to the will of Jesus Christ.
3. Often to meditate on his Passion.
4. Always to ask Jesus Christ for his love.
5. To communicate often, and many times in the day to make spiritual Communions.
6. Often to visit the Most Holy Sacrament.
7. Every morning to receive from the hands of Jesus Christ himself your own cross.
8. To desire Paradise and death, in order to be able to love Jesus Christ perfectly and for all eternity.
9. Often to speak of the love of Jesus Christ.
10. To accept contradictions for the sake of Jesus Christ.
11. To rejoice in the happiness of God.
12. To do that which is most pleasing to Jesus Christ, and not to refuse him anything that is agreeable to him.
13. To desire and to endeavor that all should love Jesus Christ.
14. To pray always for sinners and for the souls in purgatory.
15. To drive from your heart every affection that does not belong to Jesus Christ.
16. Always to have recourse to the most holy Mary, that she may obtain for us the love of Jesus Christ.
17. To honor Mary in order to please Jesus Christ.
18. To seek to please Jesus Christ in all your actions,
19. To offer yourself to Jesus Christ to suffer any pain for his love.
20 To be always determined to die rather than commit a willful venial sin.
27. To suffer crosses patiently, saying, "Thus it pleases Jesus Christ."
22. To renounce your own pleasures for the love of Jesus Christ.
23. To pray as much as possible.
24. To practice all the mortifications that obedience permits.
25. To do all your spiritual exercises as if it were for the last time.
26. To persevere in good works in the time of aridity.
27. Not to do nor yet to leave undone anything through human respect.
28. Not to complain in sickness.
29. To love solitude, to be able to converse alone with Jesus Christ.
30. To drive away melancholy.
37. Often to recommend yourself to those persons who love Jesus Christ.
32. In temptation, to have recourse to Jesus crucified, and to Mary in her sorrows.
33. To trust entirely in the Passion of Jesus Christ.
34. After committing a fault, not to be discouraged, but to repent and resolve to amend.
35. To do good to those who do evil.
36. To speak well of all, and to excuse the intention when you cannot defend the action.
37. To help your neighbor as much as you can.
38. Neither to say nor to do anything that might vex him. And if you have been wanting in charity, to ask his pardon and speak kindly to him.
39. Always to speak with mildness and in a low tone.
40. To offer to Jesus Christ all the contempt and persecution that you meet with.
41. To look upon [religious] Superiors as the representatives of Jesus Christ.
42. To obey without answering and without repugnance, and not to seek your own satisfaction in anything.
43. To like the lowest employment.
44. To like the poorest things.
45. Not to speak either good or evil of yourself.
46. To humble yourself even towards inferiors.
47. Not to excuse yourself when you are reproved.
48. Not to defend yourself when found fault with.
49. To be silent when you are disquieted.
50. Always to renew your determination of becoming a saint, saying, "My Jesus, I desire to be all Yours, and You must be all mine."

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Quid retribuam Domino pro omnibus quæ retribuit mihi?

"Take it as a certain sign that your charity is not genuine if your words, no matter how true, are not charitable." --St Francis de Sales

"The thing is--to be ready to die: and is there one of us who would quite like to die, doing as little for God as we are doing now?" --Fr Faber


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 Post subject: Re: Favorite Saintly book on virtues?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:54 am 
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Oh, thank you so much. I have lots of links for free online books but hadn't seen that one. That will be a great start for me. It is wonderful now to have online access to such great old books I hope to take advantage of it!

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 Post subject: Re: Favorite Saintly book on virtues?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:53 pm 
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The Spiritual Combat is good....St. Francis de Sales carried it around with him at all times....just sayin'

It is online in a few places.

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 Post subject: Re: Favorite Saintly book on virtues?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:57 pm 
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Thanks for the rec PED, from reading reviews it sounds like a great choice as well. All of these seem to be exactly what I am looking for, again, many, many thanks. Now I just have to decide what to read first.

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 Post subject: Re: Favorite Saintly book on virtues?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:54 pm 
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I like the sayings of the Desert Fathers. There are different collections of these, for example, The Paradise of the Desert Fathers, of which an English translation is available online.


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 Post subject: Re: Favorite Saintly book on virtues?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:11 pm 
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Pro Ecclesia Dei wrote:
The Spiritual Combat is good....St. Francis de Sales carried it around with him at all times....just sayin'

It is online in a few places.

I carry the Imitation around with me. :D

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Quid retribuam Domino pro omnibus quæ retribuit mihi?

"Take it as a certain sign that your charity is not genuine if your words, no matter how true, are not charitable." --St Francis de Sales

"The thing is--to be ready to die: and is there one of us who would quite like to die, doing as little for God as we are doing now?" --Fr Faber


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 Post subject: Re: Favorite Saintly book on virtues?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:30 am 
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I decided to start with the Imitation of Christ, it is so wonderful. I think I need an actual copy of this, it seems one to be read over and over again.

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 Post subject: Re: Favorite Saintly book on virtues?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:37 am 
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Dominicatella wrote:
Pro Ecclesia Dei wrote:
The Spiritual Combat is good....St. Francis de Sales carried it around with him at all times....just sayin'

It is online in a few places.

I carry the Imitation around with me. :D
As a printed book, an attempted way of life, or both?


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 Post subject: Re: Favorite Saintly book on virtues?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:29 am 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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A couple of others. There's the Spiritual Conferences by Fr Faber, which is quite practical. A lot of it (all of it?) is available for free online on google books and one or two other places. I've never read the whole thing but I've read sections and like it very much. I want to read the rest of it at some point. I've also heard good things about Wife, Mother, and Mystic and Counsels of Perfection for Christian Mothers, but I personally know nothing about them except the titles. :)

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Quid retribuam Domino pro omnibus quæ retribuit mihi?

"Take it as a certain sign that your charity is not genuine if your words, no matter how true, are not charitable." --St Francis de Sales

"The thing is--to be ready to die: and is there one of us who would quite like to die, doing as little for God as we are doing now?" --Fr Faber


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 Post subject: Re: Favorite Saintly book on virtues?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:22 pm 
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Not a canonized saint, but I've been enjoying Peter Kreeft's For Heaven's Sake. It's about how the Beatitudes are a remedy for the seven deadly sins.

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 Post subject: Re: Favorite Saintly book on virtues?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:47 pm 
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Soror wrote:
I decided to start with the Imitation of Christ, it is so wonderful. I think I need an actual copy of this, it seems one to be read over and over again.

I have 2 versions at home in 2 different rooms and continually read both. The "Image Classic" version edited by Harold Gardiner suits my ear (eye?) best.

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 Post subject: Re: Favorite Saintly book on virtues?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:29 pm 
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Thanks for your thoughts on the editions, I was curious, it seems there are several

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 Post subject: Re: Favorite Saintly book on virtues?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:55 pm 
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I have this version. I didn't compare before I bought; I just saw this in a religious gifts store and it was the cheapest so I bought it. I really like the size and format and everything. I like the translation (though I'm not familiar with any other translations). There are some illustrations which I don't like much, but there aren't too many and they might not bother other people.

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Quid retribuam Domino pro omnibus quæ retribuit mihi?

"Take it as a certain sign that your charity is not genuine if your words, no matter how true, are not charitable." --St Francis de Sales

"The thing is--to be ready to die: and is there one of us who would quite like to die, doing as little for God as we are doing now?" --Fr Faber


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 Post subject: Re: Favorite Saintly book on virtues?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:27 pm 
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The version I have is in sacral English (thees and thous), which I like.

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 Post subject: Re: Favorite Saintly book on virtues?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:10 pm 
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Dominicatella wrote:
A couple of others. There's the Spiritual Conferences by Fr Faber, which is quite practical. A lot of it (all of it?) is available for free online on google books and one or two other places. I've never read the whole thing but I've read sections and like it very much. I want to read the rest of it at some point. I've also heard good things about Wife, Mother, and Mystic and Counsels of Perfection for Christian Mothers, but I personally know nothing about them except the titles. :)

Thanks for the recs- it will be interesting to see something specific to my calling in life.

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 Post subject: Re: Favorite Saintly book on virtues?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:12 pm 
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MySweetLord wrote:
Not a canonized saint, but I've been enjoying Peter Kreeft's For Heaven's Sake. It's about how the Beatitudes are a remedy for the seven deadly sins.

Oh, that sounds good as well, dh loves Kreeft and I have enjoyed watching and listening to him on EWTN.

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