Practice of Perfection and Christian Virtues
By Fr. Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J.
Imprimatur, 1929. Volume 1 - 625 pages, Volume 2 - 614 pages, Voume 3 - 505 pages.
Volume 1 - Click Here for Table of Contents
The books written by Father Rodriguez are precious treasures. They became popular at once, and it is much used today by all classes of Christians as it was when it first became known in the 1600s. More than 100 editions in various languages have been published all over the world.
“This work is based on the material which he collected for his spiritual exhortations to his brethren, and published at the request of his superiors. Although the book thus written was primarily intended for the use of his religious brethren, yet he destined it also for the profit and edification of other Religious and of Laymen in the world. It is a book of practical instructions on all the virtues which go to make up the perfect Christian life, whether lived in the cloister or in the world.” (Catholic Encyclopedia 1912.)
The Holy Ghost has imported such unction into the works of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, who was canonized in 1888, that, read again and again, one will never tire of them. Over four centuries, his works have provided for the advancement and solid virtue of the entire body of the society. They are inspirational, practical, and spiritually valuable, all while being easy to read. You will gain insights from every page. These books truly show you how to become a saint!
Volume 2 - Click Here for Table of Contents
Fr. Alphonsus Rodriguez to the Reader:
“Though this work is composed principally for religious, yet it is very useful to all Christians; and this second part, in particular, is so disposed as to be of very great advantage to all secular persons who desire to give themselves entirely to God's service. For their first duty is to subdue their hearts by mortifying their passions, by subjecting their senses (especially their tongue), and by humbling themselves before God, in order that those virtues and good works which they have planted in their souls may spring up and bring forth such fruit as should be expected. It is for this reason that I treat first of mortification, then of modesty and silence, and afterwards of humility; which are the virtues a Christian ought chiefly practise in the beginning of his conversion. And because the Holy Ghost would have those that enter into God's service remain in fear and prepare themselves for temptation, I therefore speak in the Fourth Treatise of the profit and advantage of temptations, and point out the means of overcoming them. In the Fifth and Sixth Treatises I show the obstacles that occur in the paths of virtue, and of how great advantage it is to walk always in these paths with joy and liberty. And, because nothing can better produce this effect than the knowledge of the infinite treasure we possess in Jesus Christ, I make that the subject of the Seventh Treatise, in which I also show how we are to meditate on the mysteries of the Passion and what fruit we are to reap from them. Lastly, I conclude this second part with a treatise on Holy Communion, in which I show what we are to do in order to prepare ourselves for it and to render it profitable to us; all which I endeavor to treat of as methodically as possible, that the practice may be more easy, which is the chief aim I had in this whole work. If the Christian reader vouchsafes favorably to receive it, I hope, by the assistance of God’s grace, that it will help him to subdue his passions, to practise modesty and moderation in all his words and actions, to overcome temptations, to make his profit of the immense treasures with which the Passion of Jesus Christ has enriched the faithful, to receive His body and blood with pious fervor, and to gather and lay up such fruit as may conduce to his everlasting happiness and salvation.”
Volume 3 - Click Here for Table of Contents
Fr. Alphonsus Rodriguez to the Reader:
“The matters I have treated of in the first and second volumes regard a religious life in general, but these I now treat of regard it in particular, and therefore I have entitled this third volume Practice of Christian and Religious Perfection. Things are so disposed in it that they do not only suit all other religious orders as well as our own, but also that they may be very profitable to all secular persons who aspire to perfection. For though the first treatise, for example, speaks of the end and institution of our Society in particular, yet it omits not to treat of several general matters, such as good example, zeal for the salvation of souls, diffidence in ourselves and confidence in God, fraternal correction, manifestation of conscience to our confessor and spiritual father, all which are subjects interesting to everyone. And, generally, all the virtues I treat of in this last volume are proper to all sorts of persons, because everyone may either embrace and practise them in desire, if the obligation of his state hinders him from observing them in effect; or he may make use of them to resist and overcome the contrary inclinations which nature causes in him.
I hope, by the mercy of God, that the reading of this work will excite religious more and more to the practice of perfection, according to the duty of their profession, and will inspire seculars with a desire of imitating them as far as the state of each one will permit, so that the one and the other will hereby daily increase their fervor in God's service.”