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to suffer them in a proper manner. But what is a Christian, if he cannot suffer an affront for the sake of Christ? How many affronts did Jesus Christ suffer for us! scoffs, derisions, scourging, and spitting in his sacred face! Alas, if we had a true love for Jesus Christ, not only should we not resent affronts, but we should be pleased with them, seeing ourselves despised, as Jesus Christ was despised.

SECT. II.-The practice of mortification.

IF any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. St. Matt. xvi. 24. This is all that is necessary in order to become a follower of Jesus Christ; the denying of ourselves, and the moritfying of self-love. Do we desire to be saved? we must conquer all, to secure all.

How wretched is the soul that allows itself to be guided by self-love! Mortification is of two kinds; interior and exterior. By interior mortification the passions are conquered, and particularly that which prevails over us most. He who does not overcome his predominant passion is in great danger of being lost. On the contrary he who does overcome it, will easily conquer all the rest. Some nevertheless suffer themselves to be swayed by some particlar vice, and yet think they are good persons, because they are not overcome by the same vices which they witness in others. "But what will this avail?" says St. Cyril, 66 a small "chink is sufficient to sink the vessel." It avails nought to say: I cannot abstain from this vice:" a resolute will overcomes every thing; when it relies on God's assistance which is never wanting. Exterior mortification is the conquering of the sensual appetites. Worldlings call the saints cruel, because they deny their bodies all sensual


gratifications, and afflict themselves with hairshirts, disciplines and penances. But St. Bernard says that those are much more cruel towards themselves, who for the sake of the momentary pleasures of this world, condemn themselves to the eternal torments of the next. Others say that the body should be denied all forbidden pleasure, but despise exterior mortifications, saying that interior mortification alone is necessary, that is, the mortification of the will. Yes, it is in the first place necessary to mortify the will, but it is also necessary to mortify the flesh; because if the flesh be not mortified, it will have great difficulty in being obedient to God. St. John of the Cross says, that he who teaches that exterior mortification is not necessary is not to be believed, although he should perform miracles. But to come to the practice.

First. It is necessary to mortify the eyes. The first darts which strike and often kill the soul, enter through the eyes. The eyes are like infernal hooks which drag persons as it were by force into sin. A certain gentile philosopher, to rid himself of impurity voluntarily put out his eyes. It is not lawful however for us to pluck out our eyes; but we must blind ourselves by means of holy mortification; otherwise it will be difficult for us to keep ourselves chaste. St Francis of Sales says: 66 He "who would keep the enemy from entering into "the fortress must close the gates." It is necessary therefore that we should close our eyes from looking on any object calculated to excite temptations. St. Aloysius, did not dare to cast his eyes even on the face of his own mother. And whenever our eyes accidentally light upon any dangerous object, we must be careful not to look again: "It is not so much looking," says the same St. Francis of Sales, as looking again that is the cause of ruin to the soul." Let us, therefore,



be most careful to mortify the eyes, for many on account of not having kept guard over their eyes are now burning in hell.

Secondly. It is necessary to mortify the tongue by abstaining from detraction, injurious or obscene words. One obscene word spoken in conversation, even in jest, may be the cause of scandal and of thousands of sins. And sometimes a word of double meaning does more harm than one decidedly impure.

Thirdly. It is necessary to mortify the appetite. St. Andrew Avellino says, that to begin to live a Christian life, a person must begin to mortify his appetite. Many because they live merely to eat, ruin both soul and body. For the most part, diseases are occasioned by excess in eating and drinking. But the worst is, that intemperance is frequently the cause of incontinence. Cassian

says, that he who is filled with exciting food and beverage cannot fail to experience many impure temptations. "What then," some one will say, "must we not eat?" You must eat to preserve life, but you must eat as a man, and not like a brute. Particularly, if you wish not to be molested with impure temptations, abstain from too great a quantity of food and from too much wine. The scripture says: Give not wine to kings. Prov. xxxi. 4. By kings is here understood those who subject their senses to reason. Much wine destroys reason, and not only brings with it the sin of drunkenness, which is certainly a mortal sin, but also that of impurity. And let it not be displeasing to you to fast or abstain now and then, particularly on a Saturday in honour of the most holy Mary. Many have done so on bread and water; which would be very proper on the vigils of the seven principal feasts of the Blessed Virgin. At least, I beseech you, observe the fasts of obligation,

Fourthly. It is necessary to mortify the ears and the hands: the ears, by never listening to immodest discourses or detraction; the hands, by taking care to use them with all caution, and a great horror of all sensuality. Some pretend to be exempt from sin, because they are only in jest; but who, I ask, ever sets himself to play with fire?

SECT. III.-The practice of charity towards our neighbour.

He who loves God, loves also his neighbour; and he who loves not his neighbour, loves not God, for says the divine precept of charity: He who loveth God, let him love also his brother. 1 St. John, iv. 21. We must therefore love our neighbour, and this, internally and externally. And how much must we love him? Hear the rule: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart......and thy neighbour as thyself. St. Luke, x. 27. We must therefore love God above all things, and more than ourselves, and our neighbour as ourselves. So that, as we desire our own good, and are pleased with all that happens to promote it, and on the contrary are grieved at any evil that befalls us, so we must desire our neighbour's good, take pleasure in it, and on the contrary grieve at the evil that befalls him. Thus also we must not judge or suspect evil of our neighbour without sufficient grounds. And in this consists internal charity.

External charity consists in words and in actions towards our neighbour. As to words

First. We must abstain from every shadow of detraction. The detractor is hateful both to God

and man. On the contrary, he is beloved both by God and man who speaks well of all, and when the fault cannot be excused, excuses at least the intention.

Secondly. We must be very careful not to relate

to our neighbour the evil which another has said of him; because from this, lasting hatred and revenge often take their rise. The scripture says that he who sows discord is hateful to God.

Thirdly.-We must be careful not to wound our neighbour's feelings by any biting words, not even in jest. Would you like yourself to be made a jest of, in the same way that you make a jest of your neighbour?

Fourthly. We must avoid contentions. Oftentimes, from a mere nothing, contests arise, which end in injuries and rancour. And we must also guard against becoming of a contradictory spirit, as some are, who gratuitously contradict every thing. When this occurs, say that the thing appears so to you, and then be silent.

Fifthly. We must use kind words to all, even to our inferiors; and hence we must guard against imprecations and injurious language. And when our neighbour is irritated and says provoking things to us, we must answer him mildly, and strife will soon be at an end: A mild answer breaketh wrath. Prov. xv. i. And when we are disturbed by our neighbour we must be careful not to speak, while passion transports us, which will perhaps make it appear to us necessary to raise our hand, but assuredly if we do so we shall soon repent. St. Francis of Sales says: "I never resented any"thing that happened to me, without having soon "to repent of what I had done." The rule is, to be silent until our anger has quite subsided. And when our neighbour is disturbed, we must not attempt to correct him at that time, although correction be necessary, because our words cannot then persuade him nor do him any good.

As regards charity in works towards our neighbour,

First. It consists in assisting him to the best

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