Quotes & Themes – Mortifications


Take the sword of mortification in your hand to kill and to destroy your passions, and the one who has the biggest number to get rid of, will be the most valiant, provided she keeps cooperating with God’s grace. These two young Sisters sitting in front of me, one of whom is just 15 and the other 16 years old, have little to kill; their personality is yet in the process of awakening. But as for the great personalities which have experienced many challenges and have tasted heavenly delights, these are the people whose task it is to overcome and put to death their passions. [Spiritual Conferences, Vol. 2, Conference 3]

It is far better to mortify the body through the spirit, than the spirit through the body. (The Spirit of St. François de Sales, XV, 4)

The devil does not trouble himself much about us if, while macerating our bodies, we are at the same time doing our own will. (The Spirit of St. François de Sales, XV, 4)

The spirit cannot tolerate the body when overfed, and if underfed, the body cannot tolerate the spirit. (The Spirit of St. François de Sales, XV, 7)

I approve your keeping Brother Ass subdued, not so much by the abstinence from meats, as by abstinence from choice in them. (Letters to Persons in the World, III, 11)

Do not flatter your body by delicacies in eating, sleeping, and such other soft­nesses. (Letters to Persons in the World, IV, 6)

A continual and moderate sobriety is better than immoderate abstinences prac­ticed from time to time. (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part III, Chapter 23)

Softness of the mind is infinitely more dangerous than that of the body, inas­much as the mind, being the nobler part, the disease is more difficult to cure. (Spiritual Conferences, 17)

Abstinence which is practiced against obedience takes away the sin from the body to put it in the heart. (Letters to Persons in Religion, III, 9)

So long as the enemy can enter our souls and torment us, he does not care how much we mortify our bodies. (The Spirit of St. François de Sales, XV, 3)

We are far too tender over our bodies, but incomparably more so as regards our souls. (Spiritual Conferences, 3)

As long as he who fasts, fasts for God, and he who fasts not, also fasts not for God, devotion is as well satisfied with one as with the other. (Spiritual Conferences, 1)

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