SHOULD enjoy much peace if we did not concern ourselves with
what others say and do, for
these are no concern of ours. How can a man who meddles in
affairs not his own, who seeks strange
distractions, and who is little or seldom inwardly recollected,
live long in peace?
are the simple of heart for they shall enjoy peace in abundance.
were some of the saints so perfect and so given to contemplation?
Because they tried to
mortify entirely in themselves all earthly desires, and thus
they were able to attach themselves to
God with all their heart and freely to concentrate their
are too occupied with our own whims and fancies, too taken
up with passing things. Rarely
do we completely conquer even one vice, and we are not inflamed
with the desire to improve
ourselves day by day; hence, we remain cold and indifferent.
If we mortified our bodies perfectly
and allowed no distractions to enter our minds, we could
appreciate divine things and experience
something of heavenly contemplation
greatest obstacle, indeed, the only obstacle, is that we are
not free from passions and lusts,
that we do not try to follow the perfect way of the saints.
Thus when we encounter some slight
difficulty, we are too easily dejected and turn to human
consolations. If we tried, however, to stand
as brave men in battle, the help of the Lord from heaven
would surely sustain us. For He Who gives
us the opportunity of fighting for victory, is ready to help
those who carry on and trust in His grace.
we let our progress in religious life depend on the observance
of its externals alone, our
devotion will quickly come to an end. Let us, then, lay the
ax to the root that we may be freed from
our passions and thus have peace of mind.
we were to uproot only one vice each year, we should soon
become perfect. The contrary,
however, is often the case?we feel that we were better and
purer in the first fervor of our conversion
than we are after many years in the practice of our faith.
Our fervor and progress ought to increase
day by day; yet it is now considered noteworthy if a man
can retain even a part of his first fervor.
If we did a little violence to ourselves at the start, we
should afterwards be able to do all things
with ease and joy. It is hard to break old habits, but harder
still to go against our will.
you do not overcome small, trifling things, how will you overcome
the more difficult? Resist
temptations in the beginning, and unlearn the evil habit
lest perhaps, little by little, it lead to a more
you but consider what peace a good life will bring to yourself
and what joy it will give to
others, I think you will be more concerned about your spiritual