Feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori
In his writings for other religious, Alphonsus emphasized practical approaches to reach those who were neglected or alienated from the Church. On a scientific level, he gave new life and direction to moral theology. He found many prominent moral theologians of his time either too rigid or too lax. It was Alphonsus who preached the redeeming love of God.
He believed that law and the threat of punishment were not foremost in God's plan. In God the Creator, love and freedom coincide. The individual was called to love God out of an overwhelming sense of gratitude for what God had done for him in Christ. It was not fear but love that was to characterize the Christian way of life. Ultimately, he wrote his most influential work, Moral Theology, to correct what he saw as errors that could hurt people struggling to live good and moral lives.
In the course of his long life, Alphonsus authored more than 100 books. “Banquets, entertainments, theaters,” he wrote, ”these are the pleasures of the world, but pleasures which are filled with the bitterness of gall and sharp thorns. He wrote profusely on moral, theological, and ascetical subjects [notably his Moral Theology]. His devotional writings were most successful, especially his Glories of Mary.