In case you or someone close to you needs a reminder of how high the bar is set for attaining sainthood in this life, gentle reader, (or, conversely, a reminder of how far we have sunk in regards to the same) I share below a list, taken from the yellow and brittle pages of a German-language devotional manual originally published in 1849, entitled:
Qualities and Habits
Lover of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
It lists 31 such qualities and habits, divided into three categories but in no particular order. A note attached to the list reads:
Here is a rod by which you can measure, o Christian soul, the distance between you and the perfect love of Jesus.
- A great purity of heart, and hatred, not merely for great, but also for small sins.
- A great confidence and childlike trust in Jesus, the Savior of Mankind.
- A steady diligence to do that which pleases Jesus and to avoid that which is abhorrent to the Spirit of God and the voice of conscience.
- An always consistent and steady disposition in both pleasant and unpleasant fortuities and circumstances.
- An insuperable patience in great pains and trials.
- A steady contentment, and complete acquiescence of oneself to the will of God.
- An interior desire to suffer for the sake of Jesus, and to be forgotten by others and scorned for the love of Jesus.
- An utter contempt for all the vain delights and honors of this world.
- A great love of solitude.
- A great esteem for purity of body, and an aversion to everything which is contrary to it.
- An ardent zeal for promoting the honor and love of Jesus, and the experience of grief when Jesus is offended and disregarded.
- A continual mindfulness of Jesus, an eagerness to speak of and to hear about Him, to converse with Him in prayer and to always desire Him.
- An insatiable hunger to enjoy Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
- To think little of oneself, and to take pleasure in being scorned by others for the love of Jesus.
- To hate one's own flesh, and to deny it all gratification and beguilement.
- To refuse oneself everything tending to sensuousness; to bridle the five senses and prevent them from being occupied with unnecessary things; to neither watch, listen to nor speak about anything other than that which serves to either edify oneself, to serve God, or to fulfill the obligations of one's occupation.
- To always curb one's appetite in eating and drinking, and to be satisfied with little food of modest quality.
- To mortify one's flesh through fasting, watching and working.
- To endure heat and cold and other seasonal discomforts so that one's service to God and the fulfillment of one's duties are not thereby disrupted.
- To suppress the perverted inclinations of nature and to root out one's inborn and acquired vices.
- To leave none of one's own mistakes unpunished.
- To bear the mistakes and vices of one's neighbor.
- To display a compassionate heart to every man, and to assist him with advice and action when he requires help.
- To never resent the well-being of one's neighbor, but rather to take pleasure therein, and to grieve at his misfortune, preventing the same whenever possible.
- To inflict not even the slightest harm upon one's neighbor, even if much could be gained thereby.
- To never exalt oneself above one's neighbor, but rather to eagerly place oneself beneath him.
- To ignore one's own advantage when required in order to help one's neighbor, and to give willingly in order to help a neighbor in need.
- To never become angered by or seek revenge for insult, injury or persecution, but rather to have sincere compassion with one's enemies, to speak well of them, to pray for them, and to show them kindness and helpfulness.
- To never assume the worst in one's neighbor, or to become distrustful, but rather to assume good faith in the doings of another as far as is possible, and to pardon him generously, both to oneself and to others.
- To grieve when one's neighbor offends God, but to rejoice when he serves God.
- To believe the good in, to hope the best for, and to patiently endure the evil of one's neighbor.