Mortification – Thirty-First Day of March
“If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself.” — St. Matt. 16:24.
The means of dying to our sensuality is to deny ourselves all that flatters our senses. The means of dying to our own judgment is to submit in all things to the opinions of others. The means of dying to our self-love and the esteem of creatures is to make continual acts of humility. He who does not die in this manner will never be a true servant of God; God will never perfectly live in him. — St. Magdalene of Pazzi.
St. Philip Neri mad war constantly against these three enemies of man. He mortified his flesh by combating earthly desires, and chastised it by the most rigorous instruments of penance and by fasting. He mortified his judgment, his will, by blessing God in all he suffered either from the hands of God or of man, and in following the sentiments of others rather than his own, and by practicing obedience as far as possible. He mortified his natural inclinations, which sought after the esteem and praise of men, by reflecting on his sins, by putting himself in thought at the feet of all, by rejoicing when he was despised, even seeking occasions for humiliations. A universal mortification was the path by which the saints who now live in the glory of God won their crowns in heaven.
My God, grant that I may die to my sensuality. I would chastise my criminal flesh, and combat my disorderly desires. I will bless Thee in all the crosses with which Thou mayst afflict me; I will follow another’s advice, rather than my own, in all that is permitted; I will practice obedience to those who rule over me Let me die to myself, to the esteem of men. I will not cease to humble myself for my sins, my inconstancy of heart, and my many frailties.