We 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?
Blessed are the simple of heart
for they shall enjoy peace in abundance.
Why 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 innermost
We 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
The 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.
If 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.
If 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.
If 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 evil one.
If 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
It is good for us to have trials and troubles at times, for they
often remind us that we are on probation and ought not to hope in
any worldly thing. It is good for us sometimes to suffer
contradiction, to be misjudged by men even though we do well and
mean well. These things help us to be humble and shield us from
vainglory. When to all outward appearances men give us no credit,
when they do not think well of us, then we are more inclined to
seek God Who sees our hearts. Therefore, a man ought to root
himself so firmly in God that he will not need the consolations of
When a man of good will is afflicted, tempted, and tormented by
evil thoughts, he realizes clearly that his greatest need is God,
without Whom he can do no good. Saddened by his miseries and
sufferings, he laments and prays. He wearies of living longer and
wishes for death that he might be dissolved and be with Christ.
Then he understands fully that perfect security and complete peace
cannot be found on earth.