The Means of loving God and of becoming a Saint

THE MORE we love God, the more holy we become. St. Francis Borgia says it is prayer that introduces divine love into the human heart and mortification that withdraws the heart from the world and renders it capable of receiving this holy fire. The more there is of the world in the heart, the less room there is for holy love: "Wisdom is [not to be] found in the land of them that live in delights" (Job 28: 12-13). Hence the saints have always sought to mortify as much as possible their self-love and their senses. The saints are few, but we must live with the few if we will be saved with the few. St. Bernard says, "That cannot be perfect which is not singular." 

He who would lead a perfect life must lead a singular one. But above all, in order to become saints, it is necessary to have the desire to be saints; we must have the desire and the resolution. Some are always desiring, but they never begin to put their hands to the work. "Of these irresolute souls," says St. Teresa, "the devil has no fear." On the other hand, the saint said, "God is a friend of generous souls." 

The devil tries to make it appear to us as pride to think of doing great things for God. it would indeed be pride in us if we thought of doing them all by ourselves, trusting in our own strength; but it is not pride to resolve to become saints trusting in God and saying, "I can do all things in him who strengtheneth me." (Phil 4: 13). We must therefore be of good courage, make strong resolutions, and begin. Prayer can do everything. What we cannot do by our own strength, we can do easily with the help of God, who has promised to give us whatever we ask of him: "You shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you." (Jn 15: 7). 

The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ by Saint Alphonsus Liguori