Who said that the smallest spiritual progress of a religious merits more than that of a thousand laymen?
I seem to remember it was by or about St. Teresa of Ávila.
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Abbot Gilbert says that the meanest work of a religious is more meritorious in the sight of God than the most heroic action of a secular.* St. Bernard asserts that if a person in the world did the fourth part of what is ordinarily done by religious, she would be venerated as a saint.†
*“Quod infirmum est in vobis, fortius est sæcularibus.” In Cant. s
†“Credo nullum hie esse qui, si quartam partem, eorum quæ facit, in sæculo actitaret, non adoraretur ut sanctus.” In Ps. xc. s. 4.
—True Spouse of Jesus Christ ch. 2 (EPUB ref:828.8)
The enemy labors more to gain one religious than a hundred seculars.
—ibid. ch. 13 (EPUB ref:839.65)
The conversion of a priest is more glorious to God than that of a hundred seculars; for no layman, though he be a saint, can perform the good works peculiar to the priestly office.
—The Life of Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori ch. 24 (EPUB ref:1726.14)
Be attentive, dearly beloved priests, for the devils tempt one priest more than a hundred seculars; because a priest that is lost brings with him many seculars to hell.
—Dignity and Duties of the Priest pt. 1, ch. 4 (EPUB ref:862.20)
They desire the fall of one priest more ardently than that of a hundred seculars; as well because the victory over a priest is a far greater triumph than a victory over a layman, as because a priest that falls brings many others with him to perdition.
—Dignity and Duties of the Priest pt. 1, ch. 5 (EPUB ref:863.18)
Also, kings vs. missions:
Have as many missions as you please, but if I gain one sovereign, I shall regard the conquest as worth more than a thousand missions; for the good a monarch can effect who is touched by the grace of God, could not be effected by a thousand missions.
—The Life of Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori ch. 24 (EPUB ref:1767.7)