Devotions and virtues are only greater than each other within a subject, not objectively

January 26, 2022 • 2 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 471
By Venerable Louis of Granada

In this matter beware of a grave error into which pious persons sometimes fall. Deriving much profit from certain means, many imagine that there are no others which lead to God. Consequently they would enforce the same methods upon every one, and think all in error who follow a different path.

Thus, one who gives himself wholly to prayer thinks it the only means of salvation.

Another, given to fasting and corporal mortification, sees no merit in any other practices of piety.

Those who lead contemplative lives imagine that all who are engaged in an active life are in great danger, and even go so far as to hold exterior virtues in contempt.

The followers of the active life, having no experience of all that passes between God and the soul in the sweet calm of contemplation, do not sufficiently appreciate its value, and approve it only as far as it includes the practice of exterior works.

One who gives himself exclusively to mental prayer is very apt to think any other form of prayer unprofitable; and, on the contrary, he who has devoted himself to vocal prayer will often argue that it is more meritorious because it is more laborious.

Thus each one, impelled by ignorance or unconscious pride, extols himself by commending the practices to which he is most given.

Just as a savant will praise the science which is the object of his study, and depreciate the merit of all others, so many extol one virtue at the expense of all the rest.

The orator will tell you that there is nothing comparable to eloquence; the astronomer, that there is nothing superior to the study of the heavenly bodies.

In fact, the theologian, the linguist, the philosopher, the commentator, will each in his turn offer good reasons to prove the pre-eminence and incontestable superiority of the science he professes.

Similar, though less open, is the struggle between the advocates of the different virtues; each one would have his method prevail over that of others, believing that as it has proved profitable to him, it must prove so to all. Hence arise unfavorable judgments upon the lives of others, divisions and disputes among brethren.

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