The Passion and Perfect Detachment

Do not fail to practise true poverty of spirit, by living in complete detachment from all sensible consolation, interior as well as exterior, so as not to fall into the vice of spiritual gluttony.

We must become detached from self-gratification, our own opinions and sentiments, that we may escape the dangers of a spiritual curiosity, and practise true poverty of spirit.

You should not pay so much attention to or dwell on certain gifts, but rather go to the Divine Source whence they proceed.

Pay no attention to sensible consolations; make of them a sacrifice to God, and never set your heart on them.

The trees which are planted on the river's bank absorb the moisture without changing their place; so, when the soul receives the impress of divine favors, she ought to remain immovably fixed in God, the Supreme Giver, because there is great danger of illusion in dwelling on the gifts and the sweetness thereof.

The gifts of God leave in the humble soul a deep knowledge of her own insufficiency, a love of contempt, a fervor in the practice of virtue; they move her to keep her secret from all creatures except the spiritual father whom God gives her as her director.

The soul should not dwell on the gifts, but on the Giver.

When we go into the garden, it is not to gather the leaves, but the fruits; so in the sacred garden of prayer we ought not to amuse ourselves with the leaves of sentiment and sensible consolation, but rather reap the fruits of the virtues of Jesus.

If you desire God to work wonders in your soul, you ought to keep yourself as much as is possible detached from all created things, in true poverty of spirit, and in perfect interior solitude. O sacred desert in which the soul learns the science of the saints, like Moses in the solitude of Mount Horeb!

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