Counsel To Those Who Would Be All Devoted To God
It is impossible to set down here everything which may slacken the soul. A thousand imperceptible ways, a thousand insensible declensions, a thousand slight losses, a thousand secret snares, may occasion this.
Natural inconsistency and fickleness, lukewarmness in prayer, union with persons who are not fervent in spirit, attachment to any thing wrong, the slighting of little duties, of little faults, of the checks of an enlightened conscience; the forgetting of the reasons and motives which induced us to choose the state wherein we are; a secret disgust at our superiors; too quick a sense of some slight or refusal; too great liberty in examining the defects of our brethren; listening to murmurers; any secret unfaithfulness not acknowledged; anything done with a doubting conscience; any temptation on which we have not had the humility to ask advice; any fear of ridicule in doing our duty; any slight overindulgence; but above all, any secret pride – for it is this which almost always leads to the rest.
One cannot recommend too much to those who would be all devoted to God, a humility proportioned to the graces they have need of in order to advance in virtue and persevere to the end.