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Practical Advice From St. Alphonsus:

Conforming Our Wills to God’s

Ordinary or Common Accidents. Conformity with God’s will means that we accept things that happen to us from without (great heat or great cold) and from within (hunger, poverty, disgrace). Even in imaginary cases the mind (or the devil) cooks up, our deepest desire should be to seek and carry out God’s will.

Natural Defects. Alphonsus tells us not to be upset by our natural limitations. Whatever it is—a bad memory, a weak limb, or poor health—we should not complain about our condition. Only one thing is necessary for salvation: conformity to God’s will.

Corporal Maladies. Alphonsus tells us to embrace our infirmities “willingly, both in such a manner, and for such a time, as God wills.” If normal remedies fail, we should resign ourselves to God’s will and unite our sufferings with Jesus’ Passion.

Loss of Useful Persons. Loss of a spiritual director does not mean God has abandoned us. Alphonsus recommends that we ask God to give us the strength to carry on.

Spiritual Desolation. Alphonsus points out that the ordinary condition of the saints was one of spiritual dryness. Such desolation is not always a punishment; sometimes it’s for our greater good.

Death. It doesn’t matter our age when we die, the time when we die, or even how we die. What matters is that we resign ourselves to God’s providential care and place our trust entirely in him. It does no one any good to remain alive longer than God wills.

Spiritual Goods. God promises to give us what we need. When we fall short, we should not lose heart, but humbly admit our faults, do penance, and seek even greater assistance from God. What is more, if God does not elevate us to a high degree of sanctity, Alphonsus bids us to conform ourselves to God’s will and pray for God’s mercy.

Adapted from Plentiful Redemption: An Introduction to Alphonsian Spirituality by Fr. Dennis Billy, CSsR (Liguori Publications, © 2001. All rights reserved).

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