‘Saint Alphonsus Liguori and The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ’
The last couple of months, I have devoted mch of my prayer time on pondering and praying with: ‘The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ’. Although definitely not your average typical “how-to-do-it” book, written nearly two centuries ago by Saint Alphonsus Liguori, I can easily see why the Church has given him the title of Teacher of Prayer. Throughout the many chapters in this book, I have been blessed during prayer by constant ‘conversations’ with Alphonsus and his friends, the many saints whom he constantly quotes. In his humble simplicity, I feel drawn in their prayer although these people lived hundreds of years ago. But when Alphonsus teaches us how to love Jesus, he is talking to us today. And he is, for me, in a special way today, Wednesday August 1, as our parish community celebrates his feast day during the Eucharistic Celebration: Anthony’s favorite prayer.
I know that I could go on for a very long time about Saint Alphonsus and still not be done. But for me, personally, one of his greatest achievements was the founding of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer whose motto is “With the Lord there is plentiful redemption”. This has brought many spiritual leaders to us as true missionaries who proclaim constantly on our redemption in Christ Jesus.
These “Redemptorist Fathers” who have led us and cared for our parish since 1933, might never have come to us without Alphonsus’ great love for Jesus and His people. His great dedication to prayer continues to draw us today:
“Let us pray, then, and let us always be asking for grace, if we wish to be saved. Let prayer be our most delightful occupation; let prayer be the exercise of our whole life. And when we are asking for particular graces, let us always pray for the grace to continue to pray in the future; because if we leave off praying, we shall be lost. There is nothing easier than prayer. What does it cost us to say, Lord, stand by me! Lord, help me! Give me Thy love…What can be easier than this?”
Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Prayer, the Great Means of Salvation