Aim High

St Teresa of Avila after Jusepe de Ribera

Should one expect from God the grace to become a saint? Ought not one be contented with the lowest place in Paradise?

Father Frassinetti advises: “If you ask anything of the Omnipotent God, ask something great. . . . Does it cost God more to give you a great grace than a small one? . . . If God desires that you should become holy, will it displease Him to bestow on you the necessary graces?”

St. Teresa of Avila in her Way of Perfection remarks: “Does it cost us anything, or prejudice our cause, to ask for much when we are asking it from the Omnipotent God? It would be a shame to us were we to ask a great and most liberal emperor for a farthing.”

Father Frassinetti adds: “Why, then, would you wish to be contented with the lowest place in Paradise? The soul that in Paradise will have the lowest place is the soul which will have done the least for the glory of God on earth, and consequently will give Him the least glory in heaven. Why, then, since you have the power of giving greater glory to God in time and in eternity, do you wish to be contented with giving Him less?”

“The soul that shall have the lowest place in Heaven will be fully satisfied with having gained that place, because in heaven there is no such thing as disappointment; but while we are in this world we ought not to rest satisfied with striving merely to gain the lowest place. Rather should we desire to gain a very high one by aiming at Christian perfection, in order to give our God the greater glory in time and in eternity.”

Quotations from Joseph Frassinetti, The Consolation of the Devout Soul, trans. Georgiana Lady Chatterton (London: Burns and Oates, 1876).

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