The Passion and Chastity

Possess purity in an eminent degree, and jealously preserve this fragrant flower.

I earnestly desire to see you shine by the brilliancy of this virtue; be like to angels, and omit no precaution to retain this treasure, which is so easily lost by imprudence.

We have this treasure in earthen vessels, says the Apostle. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

I also recommend to you holy modesty at all times and in all places, because we are always in the presence of God, Who is everywhere.

Let the admirable modesty of your Saviour be seen in your countenance, in your movements, and in your apparel.

I exhort you not only to watch over your eyes and to repress sensuality, but to conform your every movement to the rules of this virtue, which beautifies and ennobles every action.

Be faithful in all things to your heavenly Spouse, and live like innocent and stainless doves.

Avoid failing, not only against purity, but even against the least rules of an exact modesty.

The lily becomes whiter and sheds a sweeter fragrance among thorns than when growing in the open soil. In like manner, holy virginity becomes more beautiful and more pleasing to God amid the thorns of combats and temptations.

God permits that kind of temptation in order to impress you with a deeper sense of your own nothingness, and to convince you that, deprived of His grace, you would be capable of committing the most heinous crimes. Therefore act prudently, avoid all dangerous intercourse, watch over your eyes, your heart, and all your affections; be very modest, be circumspect in all your actions, by night as well as by day; love holy modesty.

Do not act haughtily towards anybody, but, above all things, distrust yourself.

At night sprinkle your bed with holy water; retire to rest with the greatest modesty; have your crucifix at hand, and if you are assailed by any bad thought, kiss the five wounds, and strengthen yourself by saying: "Behold the cross of Jesus! Begone! infernal spirits. I command you to do so in the name of the Holy Trinity, in the name of Jesus, my Saviour, and of Mary, the Mother of God."

Distrust yourself, for we have seen the cedars of Libanus fall; distrust yourself always. It is necessary to fear, and to flee the occasions of sin. You must break off all intercourse with the person of whom you have spoken to me; I see there a secret attachment, and, under a specious pretext, either false zeal or the devil is laying a frightful snare for you, to cause you to fall down the precipice. In this kind of warfare we can conquer only by flight.

Prayer, good reading, frequenting the sacraments, with the proper dispositions, and particularly the flight of idleness - these are, believe me, the means of sanctifying yourself.

- text taken from Flowers of the Passion, taken from the letters of Saint Paul of the Cross