MUST not rely too much upon ourselves, for grace and understanding
are often lacking in us.
We have but little inborn light, and this we quickly lose
through negligence. Often we are not aware
that we are so blind in heart. Meanwhile we do wrong, and
then do worse in excusing it. At times
we are moved by passion, and we think it zeal. We take others
to task for small mistakes, and
overlook greater ones in ourselves. We are quick enough to
feel and brood over the things we suffer
from others, but we think nothing of how much others suffer
from us. If a man would weigh his
own deeds fully and rightly, he would find little cause to
pass severe judgment on others.
interior man puts the care of himself before all other concerns,
and he who attends to himself
carefully does not find it hard to hold his tongue about others.
You will never be devout of heart
unless you are thus silent about the affairs of others and
pay particular attention to yourself. If you
attend wholly to God and yourself, you will be little disturbed
by what you see about you.
are your thoughts when they are not upon yourself? And after
attending to various things,
what have you gained if you have neglected self? If you wish
to have true peace of mind and unity
of purpose, you must cast all else aside and keep only yourself
before your eyes.
will make great progress if you keep yourself free from all
temporal cares, for to value
anything that is temporal is a great mistake. Consider nothing
great, nothing high, nothing pleasing,
nothing acceptable, except God Himself or that which is of
God. Consider the consolations of
creatures as vanity, for the soul that loves God scorns all
things that are inferior to Him. God alone,
the eternal and infinite, satisfies all, bringing comfort
to the soul and true joy to the body.