Preparation For Death Or Considerations On The Eternal Truths, Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Part 1 Of 2
This manual of devotion consists of a series of chapters or instructions upon important points of Christian teaching which Saint Alphonsus calls “Considerations”. As the Saint describes, “These Considerations are written for the purpose of pricking or of wounding the conscience… that so it may be thoroughly aroused and awakened.” The Considerations deal with such doctrines and facts as have a universal application, which admit of no dispute, and which are always confirmed by some passage from Holy Scripture. Preparation for Death is essentially a guide to prayer. It represents, from its beginning to its end, the continual outpouring of heart before God, an outpouring that is at times expressed in the very same words which imply a new phase of thought. Regarded as a Manual of Mental Prayer, each of these “Considerations” has a technical and special signification. They treat of life and death, the value of time, the mercy of God, the habit of sin, the general and particular judgments, the love of God, Holy Communion, and other subjects equally important.
Death viewed according to the senses terrifies and causes fear; but when viewed with the eyes of faith it consoles and becomes desirable. It appears terrible to sinners, but lovely and precious to the saints. St. Alphonsus Liguori.
Pope Gregory XVI stated “…there is nothing worthy of
censure,… The opinions of St. Alphonsus may be followed in the pulpit as well as in the confessional, even if one
has not maturely examined the reasons upon which the opinions are founded, provided only that one does not regard
it as a reproach to those who follow the opinions of other approved authors.”
Pope Pius IX declared St. Alphonsus Maria a Doctor of the Church. He also wrote, “We greatly commend your pius undertaking, and we encourage you to continue with still grater diligence in endeavoring to spread the most wholesome writings of St. Alphonsus every day more and more. To read them cannot but be of the greatest advantage, not only to Christians in general, but also to ecclesiastics, and to those especially who have the care and the directions of souls.”
Alphonsus Liguori sometimes called Alphonsus Maria Liguori (27 September 1696 – 1 August 1787), was an Italian Catholic bishop, spiritual writer, composer, musician, artist, poet, lawyer, scholastic philosopher, and theologian.
He founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemptorists). In 1762 he was appointed Bishop of Sant’Agata dei Goti. A prolific writer, he published nine editions of his Moral Theology in his lifetime, in addition to other devotional and ascetic works and letters. Among his best known works are The Glories of Mary and The Way of the Cross, the latter still used in parishes during Lenten devotions.
He was canonized in 1839 by Pope Gregory XVI and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX in 1871. One of the most widely read Catholic authors, he is the patron saint of confessors.
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