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In Volume 1, Opere Ascetiche di S. Alfonso M. de Liguori, Roma, 1933, “Uniformity with God’s Will” is included as one of three works under the heading, “Lesser Works on Divine Love.” There is no preface in the Italian original. However, it has been thought well to provide one here.
Prof. Candido M. Romano (Saggio Storico di Prof. Candido M. Romano, Roma Libreria Salesiano, 1896.) says this brochure was written probably in 1755, as appears from a letter by the Saint, under date of Nov. 2, 1755, to Sister Giannastasio, at Cava. Romano goes on to say: “This (i.e. God’s will) was for Alphonsus a theme of predilection, a theme dearest to his heart. Just as St. Ignatius stressed ‘the greater glory of God,’ St. Alphonsus in all his works, gave prominence to ‘the greater good pleasure of God.’ Most likely the occasion that brought forth this treatise was the death, in 1753, of Father Paul Cafaro, C.SS.R., St. Alphonsus’ confessor and director. The death of this worthy priest deeply affected the Saint and he expressed his sentiments in a poem on God’s will. The wide acclaim it received may have suggested to him the thought that a tract on the same subject would be helpful to the souls of others. If this be true, his surmise proved correct, for the appearance of his subsequent pamphlet was greeted with instant favor.”
Cardinal Villecourt, in his Life of St. Alphonsus, quotes long passages from this pamphlet and ends by saying: “Our Saint frequently read it himself and when his sight had failed he arranged to have it read to him by others.”
This brochure bears the stamp of Alphonsian simplicity of style and solidity of doctrine. Moreover the instances he cites from the lives of the saints have a gentle graciousness and contain a fragrance that is redolent of the Fioretti of St. Francis of Assisi.
Through God’s grace and our Lady’s prayers may a diligent reading of the book bring us far along the way of perfection by the cultivation of uniformity with God’s holy will!
THOMAS W. TOBIN, C.SS.R.
Feast of St. Gerard Majella, C.SS.R.