Mortification – First Day of March
“If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself.” — St. Matt. 16:24.
The first step for one to make who would follow Jesus Christ, as He Himself says, is to renounce himself, that is, his senses, his passions, his will, his judgment, in fine, every movement of nature. All these sacrifices are agreeable to God and necessary for us. He who, as he thinks, has already one foot in heaven, should he fall in this exercise, when the time came to place the other foot there, would find, instead of being secure, his salvation in danger. — St. Vincent de Paul.
This saint excelled in the virtue of mortification. He practiced it until the last moment of his life, and thus became master of his passions to such a degree that he appeared to have none.
According to St. John Climacus, the hermits who were most advanced in perfection were careful never to abandon mortification, lest by so doing the other virtues they had acquired might abandon them. They said they were like the earth: no matter how rich and fertile it might be, if one ceased to cultivate it, it would product nothing but thorns and weeds.
O my Saviour, with all my heart I renounce myself, to be truly Thy disciple. I make Thee the sacrifice of my senses, my passions, my judgment, and my will. I will do nothing more for my gratification alone.