The friends of God, proceeding from virtue to virtue, are day by day renewed.

That is, they increase by good works in the justice which they have received by God’s grace, and are more and more justified, according to those heavenly admonitions.

[…] And to remain at a standstill is impossible; he that gains not, loses in this traffic; he that ascends not, descends upon this ladder; he that vanquishes not in this battle, is vanquished.

We live amidst the dangers of the wars which our enemies wage against us, if we resist not we perish; and we cannot resist unless we overcome, nor overcome without triumph.

For as the glorious S. Bernard says: “It is written in particular of man that he never continues in the same state; he necessarily either goes forward or returns backward.

All run indeed but one obtains the prize, so run that you may obtain (1 Cor. 9:24).

“Who is the prize but Jesus Christ? And how can you take hold on him if you follow him not?

“But if you follow him you will march and run continually, for he never stayed, but continued his course of love and obedience until death and the death of the cross.”

Go then, says S. Bernard; go, I say with him…and admit no other bounds than those of life, and as long as it remains run after this Saviour.

But run ardently and swiftly: for what better will you be for following him, if you be not so happy as to take hold of him!

[…] True virtue has no limits, it goes ever further; but especially holy charity, which is the virtue of virtues, and which, having an infinite object, would be capable of becoming infinite if it could meet with a heart capable of infinity.

[…] The heart which could love God with a love equal to the divine goodness would have a will infinitely good, which cannot be but in God.

Charity then in us may be perfected up to the infinite, but exclusively; that is, charity may become more and more, and ever more, excellent, yet never infinite.

The Holy Ghost may elevate our hearts, and apply them to what supernatural actions it may please him, so they be not infinite.

[…] Meanwhile it is an extreme honour to our souls that they may still grow more and more in the love of their God, as long as they shall live in this failing life: Ascending by steps from virtue to virtue (Ps. 83:6).

Francis de Sales (1567-1622): Treatise on the Love of God, 3,1.

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