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How to Become Good Trees


All spiritual writers agree that the best sign you can have of solid devotion is amendment of life and perseverance in good.

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I began to amend my life by frequenting Holy Communion after having tried every other way and failed.  When I went rarely to Holy Communion I had no end of bad habits and imperfections which appeared to me insurmountable.  I uprooted these by multiplying my Communions.  Every time I omitted frequent Communion I felt my weakness more.  When I received Communion again I felt fervor rekindle in my heart. . .

No fervent soul has ever relaxed who did not first leave off receiving the Holy Eucharist.  If I found that when going frequently to Communion I became no better, was still just as weak, just as prone to evil, just as indifferent about sin, I should conclude not that I ought to leave off going, but that I ought to receive our Lord with better dispositions.  I should see if my confessions were wanting in sincerity, contrition, or purpose of amendment.  If you are sinful, repent so that you can receive Communion often.  If you are imperfect, go often to Communion that you may amend your faults.

My daily Mass and Communion is my only hope and resource.  Jesus Christ . . . will counsel me and give me new strength; he will instruct, console, and encourage me and give me all the graces for which I pray.



Saint Claude de la Colombiere. "How to Become Good Trees" excerpt from The Spiritual Direction of Saint Claude de la Colombiere (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1934).

Reprinted with permission from Ignatius Press. This excerpt appeared in Magnificat. Image credit: Photo by Maria Oswalt on Unsplash.

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The Author

colombiere1colombiere Saint Claude de la Colombiere. S.J. (1641-1682) promoted the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and was the confessor of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Claude de la Colombiere was born of French noble parents in 1641. In 1674, after 15 years of Jesuit life, Colombiere took a personal vow to observe the Rule and Constitutions of the Society of Jesus. He is the author of Claude La Colombiere Sermons: Volume I: Christian Conduct, The Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence, The Faithful Servant: Spiritual Retreats And Letters Of Blessed Claude La Colombiere, and Spiritual Direction of St Claude de La Columbiere

Copyright © 1934 Ignatius Press
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