Peace and Zeal for Perfection
SHOULD enjoy much peace if we did not concern ourselves with what others say and
do, for these are no concern of ours. How can a man who meddles in affairs not
his own, who seeks strange distractions, and who is little or seldom inwardly
recollected, live long in peace?
are the simple of heart for they shall enjoy peace in abundance.
were some of the saints so perfect and so given to contemplation? Because they
tried to mortify entirely in themselves all earthly desires, and thus they were
able to attach themselves to God with all their heart and freely to concentrate
their innermost thoughts.
are too occupied with our own whims and fancies, too taken up with passing
things. Rarely do we completely conquer even one vice, and we are not inflamed
with the desire to improve ourselves day by day; hence, we remain cold and
indifferent. If we mortified our bodies perfectly and allowed no distractions to
enter our minds, we could appreciate divine things and experience something of
greatest obstacle, indeed, the only obstacle, is that we are not free from
passions and lusts, that we do not try to follow the perfect way of the saints.
Thus when we encounter some slight difficulty, we are too easily dejected and
turn to human consolations. If we tried, however, to stand as brave men in
battle, the help of the Lord from heaven would surely sustain us. For He Who
gives us the opportunity of fighting for victory, is ready to help those who
carry on and trust in His grace.
we let our progress in religious life depend on the observance of its externals
alone, our devotion will quickly come to an end. Let us, then, lay the axe to
the root that we may be freed from our passions and thus have peace of mind.
we were to uproot only one vice each year, we should soon become perfect. The
contrary, however, is often the case -- we feel that we were better and purer in
the first fervour of our conversion than we are after many years in the practice
of our faith. Our fervour and progress ought to increase day by day; yet it is
now considered noteworthy if a man can retain even a part of his first fervour.
we did a little violence to ourselves at the start, we should afterwards be able
to do all things with ease and joy. It is hard to break old habits, but harder
still to go against our will.
you do not overcome small, trifling things, how will you overcome the more
difficult? Resist temptations in the beginning, and unlearn the evil habit lest
perhaps, little by little, it lead to a more evil one.
you but consider what peace a good life will bring to yourself and what joy it
will give to others, I think you will be more concerned about your spiritual