Mastering Inclinations

The mortifications which come to us from God, or from men by His permission, are always worth more than those which are the children of our own will. -St. Francis de Sales

It is narrated in the Lives of the Fathers, that an old solitary, who had, heard the virtue of a certain youthful monk greatly praised, resolved to test it. For this purpose he went to the monk’s cell, and entering the garden, which he found well cultivated and in excellent order, he began, as if in sport, to break down with his staff all the herbs and plants which were there, not leaving any untouched. Afterwards, according to the custom of the monks, they began to recite psalms together, and when this was ended, the youth, with a cheerful and modest air, asked the old man if he would like to have him prepare such of the herbs as were left for his repast. Astonished at such an invitation, he, for answer, threw his arms around his neck, exclaiming: “Now I see, my son, that you are truly dead to your inclinations, as was told me!”

The more one mortifies his natural inclinations, the more he becomes capable of receiving the divine inspirations, and the more he gains in virtue. -St. Francis de Sales

Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).

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