A Year with the Saints – 24 December


To arrive at perfect union, there is needed a total and perfect mortification of the senses and desires. The shortest and most effectual method of obtaining it is this: As to the senses whatever pleasing object may offer itself to them, unconnected with pure love to God, we should refuse it to them instantly, for the love of Jesus Christ, who in this life neither had nor desired to have any pleasure except to do the will of His Father, which He called His food. If, for example, there should arise a fancy or wish to hear or see things which do not concern the service of God or lead especially to Him, we should deny this fancy, and refrain from beholding or hearing these things; but if this is not possible, it is sufficient not to consent with the will. Then as to the desires, we should endeavor to incline always to what is poorest, worst, most laborious, most difficult, most unpleasant, and to desire nothing except to suffer and be despised. Saint John of the Cross

Such, in truth, was the life of this Saint, which he passed in the continual exercise of interior and exterior mortification, of which he never seemed to have enough – and in this way he attained to great union with God.

Saint Francis Borgia often prayed the Lord to make all the pleasures of this life painful to him, and he strove to render them so himself, as far as he was able. And so he desired with avidity, sought with solicitude and embraced with gladness all that was contrary to self-love, in food, clothing and habitation. By this means he made great progress in virtue and holy union.

MLA Citation