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Wisdom for Spiritual Warfare

We must make no compromise with the world. We must make no concessions either to please it or to seek its esteem. As St. Francis de Sales rightly says, “No matter what we do, the world shall ever war against us . . . Let us turn a deaf ear to this blind world; let it cry as long as it pleases, like an owl to disturb the birds of the day. Let us be constant in our designs and invariable in our resolutions. Our perseverance will demonstrate whether we have in good earnest sacrificed ourselves to God and dedicated ourselves to a devout life.”—The Spiritual Life, 218

“All the pleasures of the world seem to them heavy and wearisome when once they have experienced the sweetness of the Savior’s yoke, so that it seems to them a grievous thing if they have no cross to carry, and are left to live without trials and sufferings.” —St. Francis Borgia

“Think not that you will ever regret any labor or any sacrifice made in pursuit of so great a good. The wicked do not strive to attain it, for they know not its value. To them the kingdom of Heaven is like a hidden treasure. And yet it is only through the divine light and the practice of virtue that they will learn its beauty and worth. Seek, therefore, this light, and you will find the pearl of great price. Do not leave the source of eternal life to drink at the turbid streams of the world. Follow the counsel of the prophet, and taste and see that the Lord is sweet. Trusting in Our Savior’s words, resolutely enter the path of virtue, and your illusions will vanish. The serpent into which the rod of Moses was converted was frightful at a distance, but at the touch of his hand it became again a harmless rod. To the wicked, virtue wears a forbidding look; to sacrifice their worldly pleasures for her would be to buy her at too dear a rate. But when they draw near they see how lovely she is, and when they have once tasted the sweetness she possesses they cheerfully surrender all they have to win her friendship and love. How gladly did the man in the Gospel hasten to sell all he had to purchase the field which contained a treasure!” —St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life

This article is taken from a chapter in Cultivating The Spiritual Life by Fr. Aldophe Tanquerey, which is available from TAN Books.

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