What doth it profit a man to attend Latin Masses, but not live like the Good Samaritan?
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Saturday, 27 May 2017

St. Philip Neri delivers Sermon on St. Philip's Day in Toronto!

On the Feast of St.Philip Neri, at Holy Family Church in Toronto, run by the Fathers of the Toronto Oratory, the sermon was unexpectedly given by the "sweetest of fathers", St. Philip himself. St. Philip delivered his homily in the manner of one of his spiritual sons, the now Blessed John Henry Newman. Speaking cor ad cor loquitur, the saint whispered the following words:

Well! when shall we have a mind to begin to do good? Let no one wear a mask, otherwise he will do ill; and if he has one, let him burn it. Men should often renew their good resolutions, and not lose heart because they are tempted against them.

Let persons in the world sanctify themselves in their own houses, for neither the court, professions, or labour, are any hindrance to the service of God. In dealing with our neighbour, we must assume as much pleasantness of manner as we can, and by this affability win him to the way of virtue.

Perfection does not consist in such outward things as shedding tears and the like, but in true and solid virtues. Let a man frequent the holy Sacraments, go to sermons, and be often reading the Lives of Saints. Let a man always think that he has God before his eyes. When a man is in an occasion of sin, let him look what he is doing, get himself out of the occasion, and avoid the sin.

The greatest help to perseverance in the spiritual life is the habit of prayer, especially under the direction of our confessor. There is nothing the devil fears so much, or so much tries to hinder, as prayer. An excellent method of preserving ourselves from relapsing into serious faults, is to say every evening, “To-morrow I may be dead.” A man without prayer is an animal without the use of reason.

To leave our prayer when we are called to do some act of charity for our neighbour, is not really a quitting of prayer, but leaving Christ for Christ, that is, depriving ourselves of spiritual sweetnesses in order to gain souls.

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. 

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!

We must take care of little faults: for he who once begins to go backward, and to make light of such defects, brings a sort of grossness over his conscience, and then goes wrong altogether. The servant of God ought to seek knowledge, but never to show it or make a parade of it. The devil has a crafty custom of sometimes urging spiritual persons to penances and mortifications, in order that by going indiscreet lengths in this way, they may so weaken themselves as to be unable to attend to good works of greater importance; or be so intimidated by the sickliness they have brought upon themselves as to abandon their customary devotions, and at last turn their backs on the service of God.

The true medicine to cure us of pride, is to keep down and thwart touchiness of mind. Humility is the true guardian of chastity. When a man has fallen he ought to acknowledge it in some such way as this: “Ah, if I had been humble I should not have fallen!” If we wish to help our neighbour, we must reserve neither place, hour, or season, for ourselves. To obtain perfectly the gift of humility, four things are required: to despise the world, to despise no person, to despise one’s self, to despise being despised. We ought to hope for and love the glory of God by means of a good life.

To begin and end well, devotion to our Blessed Lady, the Mother of God, is nothing less than indispensable. Let us think of Mary, for she is that unspeakable virgin, that glorious lady, who conceived and brought forth, without detriment to her virginity, Him whom the width of the heavens cannot contain within itself. The true servant of God acknowledges no other country but heaven. Be devout to the Madonna, keep yourself from sin, and God will deliver you from your evils.

In order to enter Paradise we must be well justified and well purified. Let the young man look after the flesh, and the old man after avarice, and we shall all be saints together. Where there is no great mortification there is no great sanctity. We must give ourselves to God altogether. God makes all his own the soul that is wholly given to him. Let us reflect that the Word left heaven, and stooped to become man for us. 

Besides pardoning those who persecute us, we ought to feel pity for the delusion they are labouring under. To one who really loves God, there is nothing more harassing or burdensome than life. Let young men be cheerful, and indulge in the recreations proper to their age, provided they keep out of the way of sin. Not to know how to deny our soul its own wishes, is to foment a very hot-bed of vices. The hour is finished - we may say the same of the year; but the time to do good is not finished yet.

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