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Quest For Happiness
Happiness Seekers Unlimited


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Table of Contents

 Table of Contents 

Title Page

A universal recommendation of this book by Pope Pius XI,
 from his encyclical, Rerum Omnium Perturbationem, January 26, 1923

Opening Section- Abstract and Preface

Part First

Part Second

Part Third

Part Fourth

Part Fifth  


You may be wondering what a "Devout Life" has to do with a quest or seeking for happiness.

We as humans are most happy when our nature is fulfilled. When we actually do the things we are able to do we experience a sort of satisfaction. This is true from the most mundane things, such as eating and drinking, to the more important, such as the raising and the education of our children or the achievements of a long career in the workplace.

One of the highest parts of our nature is the intellect. By it we are able to discern and know what is good, true and beautiful. The very highest good is God Himself; the Holy Trinity, the Source of all Wisdom; the Divine Creator, Beauty itself.

Knowing and experiencing God, when it is actually done, brings the very highest happiness that man can achieve. A Devout Life is a life centered on this highest use of our intellect.


 

Opening Section

CONTENTS

ABSTRACT OF THE LIFE OF THE AUTHOR

A DEDICATORY PRAYER

THE AUTHOR'S PREFACE




 

Part First.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER.

I.

The description of true devotion

II.

The propriety and excellency of devotion

III.

Devotion is compatible with every station of life

IV.

Of the necessity of a guide to conduct us in the way of devotion

V.

That we must begin by purifying the soul

VI.

Of the first purgation which is that of mortal sin

VII.

Of the second purgation which is that of affections of sin

VIII.

Of the means to make this second purgation

IX.

First meditation.- On our creation

X.

Second meditation.- On the end for which we were created

XI.

Third meditation.- On the benefits of God

XII.

Fourth meditation.- On sin

XIII.

Fifth meditation.- On death

XIV.

Sixth meditation.- On judgment

XV.

Seventh meditation.- On hell

XVI.

Eighth judgment.- On heaven

XVII.

Ninth meditation.- By way of election and choice of heaven

XVIII.

Tenth meditation.- By way of election and choice which the soul makes of a devout life

XIX.

How to make a general confession

XX.

An authentic protestation, to engrave in the soul the resolution to serve God and to conclude the acts of penance

XXI.

Inferences drawn from the foregoing protestation

XXII.

That we must purify ourselves from affection to venial sin

XXIII

That we ought to purify ourselves from an affection to unprofitable amusements

XXIV.

That we must purge ourselves from our evil inclinations




 

Part Second

CHAPTER.

I.

Of the necessity of prayer

II.

A short method for meditation; and, first, of the presence of God, which is the first point of preparation

III.

Of invocation, the second point of the preparation

IV.

Of the third point of preparation, which consists in proposing the subject of the mystery on which we intend to meditate

V.

Of considerations, which form the second part of the meditation

VI.

Of affections and resolutions, the third part of meditation

VII.

Of the conclusion and spiritual nosegay

VIII.

Certain profitable advices on the subject of meditation

IX.

Of the dryness which we sometimes experience in meditation

X.

Of the morning exercise

XI.

Of the evening exercise and the examination of conscience

XII.

Of spiritual recollection

XIII.

Of aspirations, ejaculatory prayers, and good thoughts

XIV.

Of the holy sacrifice of mass, and how we ought to hear it

XV.

Of vespers, and other public exercises

XVI.

Of the honor and invocation of saints

XVII.

How we ought to hear and read the word of God

XVIII.

How we ought to receive inspirations

XIX.

Of holy confession

XX

Of frequent communion

XXI.

How we ought to communicate




 

Part Third

CONTENTS

I.

Of the choice we ought to make as to the exercise of virtues

II.

A continuation of the former discourse about the choice of virtues

III.

Of patience

IV.

Of exterior humility

V.

Of more internal humility

VI.

That humility makes its love our own abjection

VII.

How we are to preserve our good name in the practice of humility

VIII.

Of meekness towards our neighbor, and remedies against anger

IX.

Of meekness towards ourselves

X.

That we mast treat our affairs with diligence, but without eagerness or solicitude

XI.

Of obedience

XII.

Of the necessity of chastity

XIII.

Advice how to preserve chastity

XIV.

Of poverty of spirit to be observed in the midst of riches

XV.

How to practice true and real poverty, being not withstanding really rich

XVI.

How to practice riches of spirit in real poverty

XVII.

Of friendship; first, of that which is evil and frivolous

XVIII.

Of fond love

XIX.

Of true friendship

XX.

Of the difference between true and vain friendships

XXI.

Advices and remedies against evil friendships

XXII.

Other advices on friendships

XXIII.

Of the exercises of exterior mortification

XXIV.

Of conversation and solitude

XXV.

Of decency in attire

XXVI.

Of discourse; and, first, how we must speak of God

XXVII.

Of modesty in our words, and the respect we owe to persons

XXVIII.

Of rash judgment

XXIX.

Of detraction

XXX.

Other advices with respect to conversation

XXXI.

Of pastimes and recreations; and, first, of such as are lawful and commendable

XXXII.

Of prohibited games

XXXIII.

Of balls and pastimes which are lawful but dangerous

XXXIV.

At what time you may play or dance

XXXV.

That we must be faithful both on great and small occasions

XXXVI.

That we must keep our mind just and reasonable

XXXVII.

Of desires

XXXVIII.

Instructions for married persons

XXXIX.

Of the sanctity of the marriage bed

XL.

Instructions for widows

XLI.

A word to virgins




  Part Fourth

CONTENTS

I.

That we must disregard the censure of worldlings

II.

That we must always have good courage

III.

Of the nature of temptations, and of the difference between feeling temptation and consenting to it

IV.

Two good examples on this subject

V.

An encouragement to a soul in temptation

VI.

How temptation and delectation may become sinful

VII.

Remedies against great at temptations

VIII.

That we must resist small temptations

IX.

What remedies we are to apply to small temptations

X.

How to fortify our hearts against temptations

XI.

Of inquietude

XII.

Of sadness

XIII.

Of spiritual and sensible consolations, and how we must behave ourselves in them

XIV.

Of spiritual dryness

XV.

A remarkable example in confirmation of the preceding remarks




Part Fifth

CONTENTS

I.

That we ought every year to renew our good resolutions by the following exercises

II.

Considerations on the favor which God does us in calling us to his service, according to the protestation set down heretofore

III.

Examination of our soul on its advancement in devotion,

IV.

An examination of the state of our soul towards God

V.

An examination of our state with regard to ourselves

VI.

An examination of the state of our soul towards our neighbor

VII.

An examination of the affection, of out- soul

VIII.

Affections to be performed after this examination

IX.

Considerations proper to renew our good resolutions

X.

I. Of the excellence of our souls

XI.

II. Of the excellence of virtue

XII.

III. On the examples of the saints

XIII.

IV. Of the love that Jesus Christ bears us

XIV.

V. Of the eternal love of God towards us

XV.

General affections on the preceding considerations, and a conclusion of this exercise

XVI.

Of the sentiments we must retain after this exercise

XVII.

An answer to two objections which may be made to this introduction

XVIII.

The three last and principal advices for this introduction

EPI-LOGUE

Conference between an eminent divine and a poor beggar, on the means of attaining to Christian perfection


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