On Mortification

God calls us hourly and momentarily to the exercise of mortification; but nothing can be more false than the maxim that we should always choose that which mortifies us the most.

We would much rather suffer and be sick, than be constantly restraining our appetites; we love liberty and pleasure more than health. But God arranges all that in the heart which is devoted to Him; He causes us to fall in quietly with every regulation, and takes away a certain want of pliability in the will, and a dangerous confidence in ourselves; He blunts the desires, cools the passions, and detaches the man, not only from exterior things, but from self, renders him mild, amiable, simple, lowly, ready to will or not, according to His good pleasure.

Let it be so with us; God desires it, and is ready to effect it; let us not resist His will. The mortification which comes in the order of God, is more serviceable than any enjoyment in devotion which should result from our own affection and choice.

The Inner Life – Francois Fenelon


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