If it seems you have reached the point where you no
feel an effective desire to fight, and feel as if your superior will
no more resistance to the inferior will and to your enemies: stand
and do not abandon the combat.
In fact, you must consider yourself
victorious, unless you realize with certainty that you have given in.
superior will does not need the desire of the inferior will to produce
acts, so its enemies cannot ever constrain it to capitulate if it does
wish to -- although they may oppose it harshly. It is for this
that God has blessed our will with liberty and with such strength that,
all our senses, if all the demons, and all the world together armed
and swore to defeat her, fighting and pressing against her will all
power:in spite of them
she can will or not will anything with
freedom, and as often and as long and however and to whatever end may
And if at times these enemies should assail and constrain you with such
that your will, nearly suffocated, has not -- so to speak -- the breath
to produce a single contrary act, do not lose heart, nor throw down
weapons, but in this case use your tongue to defend yourself crying: "I
will not surrender to you, I do not desire you!"
So behaves a
whose enemy is so close as to rule out stabbing him with the sword's
instead he beats him with the sword handle. Just as he tries to leap
in order to wound him with the blade, so must you withdraw into your
that you are nothing and can do nothing. With faith in God, who can do
strike the foe, your passion, crying out: "Help me, O Lord! Help
God! Help me Jesus and Mary, that I might not give in to my enemy!"
While your enemy gives you time, you can reinforce the weakness of your
by resorting to your intellect and considering various truths. Through
consideration, the will can breathe and collect its strength against
For example: in some persecution, or in some other travail, you are so
by impatience that your will nearly cannot bear it, or wishes not to
it: comfort her with the intellect using these or even other arguments.
Consider if you merit the evil you suffer, because
have given it the occasion to attack. If you merit it, it is your just
to support patiently this evil which you have inflicted with your own
If you have no fault in this whatever, turn your
to your other errors which God has not yet punished, and for which you
not punished yourself. Seeing that God's mercy changes your punishment
these, which may be eternal, or perhaps the temporary punishment of
with a small sentence for now, you should not merely receive willingly:
ought to give thanks.
When it seems you have done a great deal of
and have done little to offend the divine Majesty (although you should
persuade yourself of such things), think how, in the kingdom of heaven,
one enters except through the narrow gate of tribulation (see Matthew
Even if you could enter through some other way,
law of love dictates that you should not dwell on such a thing, as the
of God, with all his friends and all his members, passed through that
through thorns and crosses.
But that which ought primarily to cause you to
on this occasion, and on every other, is the will of your God. On
of the love he bears you, he is indescribably pleased with every act of
and of mortification that his faithful and generous warrior performs in
sight, so as to correspond with him in love. Be certain of this:
irrational the travail, however unworthy its origin, causing you all
more pain and difficulty in tolerating it: you will give that much more
to the Lord by approving and loving his divine will and disposition,
on those occasions that are disordered by their very nature, and so all
more bitter to you. For everything that befalls you, even the unruly,
its rule and its most perfect order.