Good will is the one great requisite to attain eternal life. Genuine good will is composed of sincerity of mind, desire of heart, and resolution of will. Sincerity is that honesty of mind which produces rectitude of intention and fidelity in action. It is diametrically opposed to that duplicity of the Pharisees, which was so severely condemned by the Savior.
Desire is a longing of the heart for the good perceived by the mind. '' What wings are to a bird,” says St. Alphonsus, “desires are to a soul that longs for perfection.” This desire must be efficacious, however, for the saints tell us that '' hell is paved with vain desires." A desire is efficacious when the heart is anxious to make the sacrifices necessary to carry it into practice. Such a desire supplies the strength necessary for pursuit, and renders pain easier to be borne.
A resolution is a fixed determination of the will to realize the desires of the heart. When prudently formed a resolution should pause at no sacrifice, and hesitate at no legitimate means necessary to attain its end. It should turn with decision from every temptation, prudently avoid the voluntary occasions of sin, and strengthen itself against those unavoidable by keeping itself intimately united to God. If frequently renewed and strengthened by prayer and the sacraments, one resolution thus formed for life will weary not of doing good till it attains the reward exceeding great in heaven.