None shall be crowned who has not fought well.
------- 2 Tim. 2: 5
Taken from the
of the same title by DOM LORENZO SCUPOLI
$14.50 US $23.26 CDN
WE HAVE ALREADY shown that the journey to perfection must be marked with continual advancement. Be vigilant, therefore, that you overlook no opportunity of acquiring a virtue, and sedulously guard yourself against the common fault of avoiding what is contrary to the inordinate affections of our nature, since it is by combating them that we rise to heroic virtues.
Using the same example to illustrate the acquisition of the virtue of patience, never avoid the persons, the business, not even the thoughts which to you have been the sources of much impatience. Rather accustom yourself to the person you find most disagreeable, and to the task you find most irksome, for there is no other way of acquiring habitual patience.
If any employment, by its very nature, its author, or its contrariety to your inclinations, is the source of personal discomfort, be sure not to give it up on any of these accounts; show your courage, not only in cheerfully accepting the situation, but in persevering in it despite the vexations that arise and the satisfaction you would derive in quitting it.
The same may be said of thoughts which are particularly irksome. No advantage is derived in being entirely freed from them, for the uneasiness they create will gradually inure you to bear the most vexing problems. Be sure, therefore, that whoever teaches you a contrary method, shows you indeed how to avoid the trouble you dread, but not how to attain the virtue you desire.
An inexperienced soldier who wants seasoning must be very discreet and cautious, suiting offensive and defensive tactics to the particular dispositions of his strength and courage; but he must never think of turning his back or quitting the fight by shunning every occasion of trouble and vexation. Such behavior may indeed remove the immediate occasion of impatience, but will leave you more vulnerable than ever to assault, for want of habitual patience.What has been here discussed does not pertain to the vice of impurity, which, as has been observed, can only be subdued by flight.