The Passion and Mortification

I wish that I always had at hand a weeding tool to root up and entirely destroy the weed which continually springs up in my garden. You understand me; I mean that I endeavor to strip my soul of all that is not God.

Saint Ignatius often said: "Ignatius, overcome thyself; Ignatius, overcome thyself."

Oh, what important advice! What a great point of perfection!

While the body is occupied at its labor, the soul can accomplish hers by thinking of God and loving Him. Thus, while we eat we can make some acts of the love of God, and so practise mortification; we may rise above all worldly interests, and escape the frisk of becoming attached to created joys.

Shall we, in the spirit of mortification, abstain from drinking water? Yes, for the love of Jesus, Who was crucified and tormented with thirst on the cross, let us make this sacrifice.

Saint Gregory the Great nourished himself with a dish of vegetables, as I have seen in an old engraving, in which his mother, Saint Sylvia, is also represented; and in our times there is so much delicacy that we fear to impose upon ourselves even some moderate penances. Saint Gregory, of a noble family, young, and of a delicate constitution, learned at the school of pious monks to content himself with a dish of vegetables sent him every day, as an alms, by his mother.

One such example ought to cover us with confusion.

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