The first means of attaining virtue, which seems the most easy, and is in reality the most difficult, is to will it; but with a sincere, entire, efficacious, and constant will.
And oh how rare is this good will! We imagine we will a thing, but in truth and reality we do not will it at all. We may have desires, longings, purposes, wishes; but that is not having a strong and determined will. We wish to be devout, but in our own way up to a certain point, and provided it does not cost us too much. We wish, and we are contented with wishing. We do not carry our wishes into practice; we are discouraged as soon as it is necessary to put our hand to the work, to overcome obstacles or set them aside, to fight against our faults…. We wish today perhaps; we begin bravely, but alas! our energies are soon relaxed….
Everything depends upon perseverance. Let us ask God to grant us this good will, let us ask him for it every day; and let us try to merit, by our fidelity to the grace of today, to obtain it again on the next day.
Father Jean-Nicolas Grou, S.J. "Asking Daily for the Grace to Strive." excerpt from Manual for Interior Souls (London: S. Anselms Society, 1890).
Manual for Interior Souls is out of print and in the public domain. This excerpt appeared in Magnificat.
Father Jean-Nicolas Grou, S.J. (1731-1803) was a French Jesuit priest and mystic and a beloved spiritual master. He is the author, among other books, of Meditations Upon The Love Of God, How To Pray, The practical science of the Cross in the use of the sacraments of penance and the eucharist. and The Spiritual Maxims of Pere Grou.Copyright © Father Jean-Nicolas Grou, S.J.
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