Mortification – Sixth Day of March
“If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself.” — St. Matt. 16:24.
Mortification of the appetite is the A B C of the spiritual life. He who does not know how to suppress the vice of gluttony in himself will only with great difficulty triumph over his other vices. He will be compelled to wage a continual war with them, if he would not have them govern him entirely. — St. Vincent de Paul.
This great saint took merely the nourishment necessary for him. He ate little, always with great modesty, and in the presence of God. He never rose from the table without having practiced some mortifications. His preference was for food that was insipid or not well seasoned. One day eggs were placed before him which were thought to be cooked, but were not. He ate them without saying a word, or showing any repugnance.
We read of Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal, that she fasted one half the year upon bread and water; of St. Bernard, that he drank oil in place of wine without perceiving the difference — that it was a torment when he was under the necessity of takin food; of St. Isidor, that he never ate without mingling tears with his bread.
My God, assist me with Thy grace to sanctify my repasts by a fervent prayer and an offering of them to Thee, and by a remembrance of the heavenly bread with which Thou nourishes us at Thy table.