Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Our Daily Work and Little Mortifications, Part II

Now for the active mortifications ... the ones that we visit upon ourselves, so to speak. This is not exactly how I think of active mortifications but he definitely has a good point. I am better at dealing with these for some reason. Perhaps it is because I was quite tortured by a vivid imagination and memory and so was thrilled to be given this help in getting them under control.
As well as those mortifications known as "passive" -- mortifications which present themselves to us without our looking for them -- the mortifications that we propose to ourselves (and seek out) are called active mortifications. Amongst these, the mortifications which refer to the control of our internal senses are especially important for our interior progress and for enabling us to achieve purity of heart. These are:
  • Mortification of the imagination -- avoiding that interior monologue in which fantasy runs wild, by trying to turn it into a dialogue with God, present in our soul in grace. We try to put a restraining check on that tendency of ours to go over and over some little happening in the course of which we have come off badly. No doubt we have felt slighted, and have made much of an injury to our self-esteem, caused to us quite unintentionally. If we don't apply the brake in time, our conceit and pride will cause us to overbalance until we lose our peace and presence of God.
  • Mortification of the memory -- avoiding useless recollections which make us waste time and which could lead us into more serious temptations.
  • Mortification of the intelligence -- so as to put it squarely to the business of concentrating on our duty at this moment and, also, on many occasions of surrendering our own judgment so as to live humility and charity with others in a better way. To sum up, we try ot get rid of those internal habits that we know we would not like to see in a man or a woman of God.

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