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St. Alphonsus and the virtue of diligence



Today is the Memorial Feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori, founder of the Redemptorist Order of priests and brothers. St. Alphonsus was a prodigy who could master almost any subject placed before him. By the age of sixteen he was a lawyer. However, after ten years without losing a case he made a mistake and lost a significant legal dispute. He had an epiphany and realized that the accolades of men were meaningless compared to the Glory of God. He left the practice of law to become a priest. He was a prolific writer and was eventually declared a doctor of the Church.

Of course, many virtues can be attributed to this brilliant saint. However, the one that struck me today was diligence. St. Alphonsus Liguori could not stand the thought of a moment being wasted. Every free moment was put to good use praying, writing, reading, or teaching. I think I need a picture of St. Alphonsus to place near my computer as a reminder to think before I plug in. Am I being productive or am I just whiling away the minutes and hours on the mental chewing gum of the internet? Are my words adding to the Glory of God or are they just noise added to the cultural din?

St. Alphonsus Liguori is the patron of confessors, moral theologians, and lay apostolates. I think I might also invoke his intercession when I sit down to the computer that my time will be used productively and my work will serve God's will.

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