We must prefer the virtues more pleasing to God than to men

January 18, 2022 • 1 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 460
By Venerable Louis of Granada

Section II.

Discernment in the Pursuit of Virtue.

As men will sacrifice more for the purchase of gold than silver, and will do more to preserve an eye than a finger, so we, guided by the spirit of discernment, should make more effort to acquire the greater virtues than those that are of less importance. If we invert this order, we introduce confusion into the kingdom of our soul.

Therefore, while recommending the exterior virtues of recollection, modesty, silence, and fasting, we would exhort you with no less zeal to the practise of the interior virtues of humility, charity, prayer, devotion, and love of your neighbor.

Exterior faults being evident to others, we consider them of greater moment than interior defects, and pay more attention to their amendment.

Moreover, the exterior virtues, besides attracting more attention, excite more esteem than the practice of hope, charity, humility, fear of God or contempt for the world, though these interior virtues are more pleasing in the sight of God. “For man seeth those things that appear, but the Lord beholdeth the heart.” [1 Kings. xvi. 7.]

Therefore, as love of praise is one of the strongest and most subtle passions, beware lest it cause you to seek the virtues which are most esteemed by men, to the neglect of the interior virtues, which are more acceptable to God.

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