Mortification – Eighth Day of March
“If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself.” — St. Matt. 16:24.
According to the doctrine of the saints, one of the principal means to lead a Christian and exemplary life is to observe modesty of the eyes. If there is nothing more necessary than this virtue to preserve piety in the soul and to edify our neighbor, there is nothing which tends more to sensuality and grieves more scandal than the opposite fault. — Rodriguez.
The modesty of St. Bernardin was such that his presence alone was a restraint upon those of his companions who were most disorderly. It sufficed to say, “Bernardin is coming,” when all conducted themselves in the most orderly manner.
Pope Innocent II, accompanied by several cardinals, visited the monastery of Clairvaux, of which St. Bernard was abbot. The modesty of the saint and of his religious was so remarkable, and it so touched the Pope and those who were with him, that they were moved to tears.
It was asked of St. Clare of Montefalco why she never looked in the face of those to whom she spoke. She replied: “Of what use is it to look upon the face of the one to whom I speak, since it is with the tongue alone that I speak? The eyes of David would not have shed so many tears if he had been more mortified in his looks.”
My God, I will make an agreement with my eyes to turn them away as soon as any object excites the fire of passion. Grant that I may raise them to Thee. All creatures publish Thy perfections and invite me to love Thee; grant that I may understand their language.