None shall be crowned who has not fought well.

                                                                           ------- 2 Tim. 2: 5

Taken from the book of the same title by DOM LORENZO SCUPOLI
With Imprimatur
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OF ALL THE THINGS conducive to the attainment of our present goal, viz., the acquisition of Christian virtues, the earnest desire of continual advancement is of the utmost importance, as the least pause retards us.

The moment we cease forming acts of virtue, our inclinations, naturally prone to ease and pleasures of the senses, raise in us disordered appetites which overthrow or at least weaken our virtuous habits. This is to say nothing of the loss, through such neglect, of countless graces which we might have merited by a constant application to our spiritual advancement.

This is the difference between a journey on earth, and that which leads to Heaven. For in the former, not only may we stop without fear of going backward, but rest is necessary that we may sustain our strength to the journey's end; however, in the latter journey which leads to perfection, our growth in strength is proportionate to our advance, inasmuch as the inferior appetites which throw all possible obstacles in our path to heaven, grow gradually weaker while our good inclinations acquire new strength.

Thus as we advance in piety, our early difficulties fade into the background, and a certain delight, with which God sweetens the bitterness of in this life, increases in our souls. Going cheerfully on from virtue to virtue, we finally reach the summit of the mountain, the summit of perfection, that happy state wherein the soul practices virtue, not only without revulsion, but with an effortless ease and ineffable pleasure. For triumphant over her passions, the world, and herself, she lives in God, and through Him, enjoys a peaceful serenity amid her continual labors.



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