09 Aug

Attachment to our own will

“Ah! if all men would only renounce their own will! Certainly, no one would fall into hell.

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven

‘Put an end of self-will,’ says St Bernard, ‘and there will be an end of hell.’ But, in the meantime, such is the malice that it perverts even our good works. ‘Self-will is a great evil,’ he says again, ‘since through it good works are no longer good works.’

Whence come all the wars and combats within you?

How pitiable is the lot of him who is a slave to his own will! How many things he desires without being able to obtain them! And, on the other hand, how many difficult and disagreeable things he is obliged to bear with, which he would gladly avoid!

Saint James the Apostle says: ‘Whence come all the wars and combats within you?’ Does not the whole evil spring from the unruly appetites which govern you? You have a thousand desires and cannot satisfy one of them. [One of them satified briefly straight away gives rise to ten others in turn, and so forth, unless you are master of them through God’s help.]

– Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905


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