Thursday, May 3, 2012

"On the value of time"

"Damned Souls", York Minster, 12th c AD

The following is taken from a sermon for the Third Sunday after Easter by our Eastertide guide, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church:

"Son", says the Holy Ghost, "observe the time." - Eccl. , iv. 23.  Son, learn to preserve time, which is the most precious, and the greatest gift that God can bestow upon you.  St. Bernardine of Sienna teaches, that time is of as much value as God; because in every moment of time well spent, the possession of God is merited.  He adds, that in every instant of this life a man may obtain the pardon of his sins, the grace of God, and the glory of Paradise. . . .  . Hence St. Bonaventure says, that, "no loss is of greater moment than the loss of time" - ser. xxxvii. in Sept.

"O time despised by men during life, how much shall you be desired at the hour of death, and particularly in the other world! . . . . In Hell, the damned exclaim with tears: "Oh! that an hour were given to us".

"Some of you will say: What evil am I doing?   Is it not, I ask, an evil to spend your time in plays, in conversations, and useless occupations, which are unprofitable to the soul?  Does God give you this time to lose it?"

"You say: I will hereafter give myself to God.  But "why", answers St. Bernard, "do you, a miserable sinner, presume on the future, as if the Father placed time in you power?"

St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us.


  1. Alphonsus, a good and godly man and a friend of the poor, to whom with you I pray he pray for us, was also probably not too much fun at parties.