Mortification – Nineteenth Day of March
“If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself.” — St. Matt. 16:24.
Whenever one feels excited with too much ardor, or is over-anxious to perform some action, no matter how hold it may be, if it be possible it is better to defer it till another time, when the heart is tranquil, lest self-love insensibly steal in and soil the purity of our intention. — St. Vincent de Paul.
This saint never decided any undertaking, or any business, no matter how advantageous it seemed, during the time that he felt the desire to succeed was purely natural. “The time has not some to decide,” he would say; “let us recommend this affair to God.”
St. Francis of Sales said one day to St. Jane Frances de Chantal, whom he had not seen for three years and a half: “Mother, we have a few hours in which to entertain each other; which of us shall commence to speak?” “It is I,” replied she with much ardor; “my soul has great need of a review.” Then St. Francis, wishing to correct this haste, replied with gravity, but with much sweetness: “What! O mother, you still nourish your desires, you have yet a will? I thought to have found you an angel. Let us postpone speaking of what regards yourself until we are at Annecy; let us speak now of the affairs of our congregation.” The paper which she held in her hand disappeared, and she conversed with him with the greatest tranquility upon the affairs of which he had spoken.
My God, I purpose with the help of Thy grace to no longer follow my natural inclinations, to do nothing in haste lest I thereby do my own will. I wish to perform all my actions in Thy presence, as if I heard Thee say: “Thy eternal salvation depends upon the manner in which thou dost this action.”