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Mortification – Ninth Day of March

Mortification

If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself.” — St. Matt. 16:24.

NINTH DAY.

Believe me, the mortification of the senses, — of the sight, the hearing, the tongue, — is more beneficial than to wear a chain of iron and the hair-shirt. — St. Francis of Sales.

A woman confessed to St. Francis Xavier to having regarded a man with looks not pure. “You are unworthy that God should look upon you, since in permitting yourself this satisfaction you have exposed your soul to lose your God,” said the saint. These words so touched the woman that she never after was known to raise her eyes to look upon the face of any person.

It is related of St. Louise Gonzaga, who had been two years at court, that he was asked, when the Empress visited Rome, where he was at the time, whether he did not know her. He replied: “If I were in her presence, I would recognize her voice, but not her face, as I have never looked upon it.”

A person who was not always very prudent in his words asked his director to give him permission to wear a hair-shirt. His confessor placed a finger on his mouth, saying: “The best hair-shirt for you is to pay more attention to all that passes through this door.”

Prayer.

My God, I beg of Thee never let my senses be the door by which sin may enter my heart. I consecrate them to Thee. I will watch without ceasing over myself. I offer myself to Thee as a sacrifice, by continual mortification.

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