If you don't deny yourself you will never be a soul of prayer.
That joke, that witty remark held on the tip of your tongue; the cheerful smile for those who annoy you; that silence when you're unjustly accused; your friendly conversation with people whom you find boring and tactless; the daily effort to overlook one irritating detail or another in the persons who live with you… this, with perseverance, is indeed solid interior mortification.
Don't say: 'That person gets on my nerves.' Think: 'That person sanctifies me.'
No ideal becomes a reality without sacrifice. Deny yourself. It's so beautiful to be a victim !
How often you resolve to serve God in something, and you have to content yourself — you are so weak — with offering him the frustrated feeling of having failed to keep such a simple resolution !
Don't waste the opportunity of yielding your own judgment. It's hard…, but how pleasing it is in the eyes of God!
When you see a poor wooden Cross, alone, uncared-for, and of no value… and without its Crucified, don't forget that that Cross is your Cross: the Cross of each day, the hidden Cross, without splendour or consolation…, the Cross which is awaiting the Crucified it lacks: and that Crucified must be you.
Choose mortifications that don't mortify others.
Where there is no self-denial, there is no virtue.
Interior mortification. I don't believe in your interior self-denial if I see that you despise, that you do not practise, mortification of the senses.
Let us drink to the last drop the chalice of pain in this poor present life. What does it matter to suffer for ten years, twenty, fifty… if afterwards there is heaven for ever, for ever… for ever?
And, above all — rather than because of the reward, propter retributionem — what does suffering matter if we suffer to console, to please God our Lord, in a spirit of reparation, united to him on his Cross; in a word: if we suffer for Love?…
The eyes! Through them many iniquities enter the soul. — What experiences like David's! — If you guard your sight you have assured the guard of your heart.
Why look around if you carry 'your world' within you?
The world admires only spectacular sacrifice, because it does not realize the value of sacrifice that is hidden and silent.
We must give ourselves in everything, we must deny ourselves in everything: the sacrifice must be a holocaust.
Paradox: to live we must die.
Remember that the heart is a traitor. Keep it locked with seven locks.
Anything that does not lead you to God is a hindrance. Root it out and throw it far from you.
A soul whose immediate superior was a rough and irritable type was moved by God to say: 'Thank you, my God, for this truly divine treasure: where could I find another who gives a kick for every kindness?'
Conquer yourself each day from the very first moment, getting up on the dot, at a fixed time, without yielding a single minute to laziness.
If, with God's help, you conquer yourself, you will be well ahead for the rest of the day.
It's so discouraging to find oneself beaten at the first skirmish!
You always come out beaten. Propose to yourself, each time, the salvation of a particular soul, or its sanctification, or its vocation to the apostolate. If you do so, you are certain of victory.
Tender, soft, flabby…: that's not the way I want you. It's about time you got rid of that peculiar pity you feel for yourself
I will tell you which are man's treasures on earth so that you will appreciate them: hunger, thirst, heat, cold, pain, dishonour, poverty, loneliness, betrayal, slander, prison…
It has been well said that the soul and the body are two enemies who can't get away from one another, and two friends who cannot get along.
One has to give the body a little less than its due. Otherwise it turns traitor.
If they have witnessed your faults and weaknesses, will it matter if they witness your penance?
These are the ripe fruits of the mortified soul: tolerance and understanding for the defects of others; intolerance for one's own.
If the grain of wheat does not die, it remains unfruitful. Don't you want to be a grain of wheat, to die through mortification, and to yield a rich harvest? May Jesus bless your wheat-field!
You don't conquer yourself, you don't practise self— denial, because you are proud. You lead a life of penance? Don't forget that pride is compatible with penance… Furthermore: your sorrow, after your falls, after your failures in generosity — is it true sorrow or is it the petty disappointment of seeing yourself so small and helpless? How far you are from Jesus if you are not humble…, even though your disciplines each day bring forth fresh roses!
What a taste of gall and vinegar, of ash and aloes! What a dry and coated palate! And this physical feeling seems as nothing compared with that other bad taste, the one in your soul.
The fact is that 'more is being asked of you', and you can't bring yourself to give it. Humble yourself Would that bitter taste still remain in your flesh and your spirit if you did all that you could?
You are going to punish yourself voluntarily for your weakness and lack of generosity? Very good: but let it be a reasonable penance, imposed as it were, on an enemy who is at the same time your brother?
The joy of us poor men, even when it has supernatural motives, always leaves behind some taste of bitterness. What did you expect? Here on earth, suffering is the salt of life.
Many who would willingly let themselves be nailed to a Cross before the astonished gaze of a thousand onlookers cannot bear with a christian spirit the pinpricks of each day! Think, then, which is the more heroic.
We were reading — you and I — the heroically ordinary life of that man of God. And we saw him fight whole months and years (what 'accounts' he kept in his particular examination!) at breakfast time: today he won, tomorrow he was beaten… He noted: 'Didn't take sugar…; did take sugar!'
May you and I too live our 'sugar tragedy'.
The heroic minute. It is the time fixed for getting up. Without hesitation: a supernatural reflection and… up! The heroic minute: here you have a mortification that strengthens your will and does no harm to your body.
Give thanks, as for a very special favour, for that holy abhorrence you feel for yourself.