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542

CHAPTER VII.

THAT WE MUST TAKE PAINS TO DO OUR ACTIONS VERY PERFECTLY.

Our Saviour, as the ancients report, was wont to say to his disciples: Be good exchangers. If the crown be not good gold, if it want weight, if it be not struck with the lawful stamp, it is rejected as not current: if a work be not of a good species, if it be not adorned with charity, if the intention be not pious, it will not be admitted amongst the good works. If I fast, but out of sparingness, my fast is not of a good metal; if it be out of temperance, but I have some mortal sin in my soul, the work wants weight, for it is charity that gives weight to all that we do; if it be only through complaisance, and to accommodate myself to my company, the work is not marked with the stamp of a right intention: but if I fast out of temperance, and be in the grace of God, and have an intention to please his Divine majesty by this temperance, the work shall be current money, fit to augment in me the treasure of charity.

To do little actions with a great purity of intention and with a strong will to please God, is to do them excellently, and then they greatly sanctify us. Some eat much, and yet are ever lean, attenuated and languid, because their digestive power is not good; there are others who eat little, and yet are always in good plight, and vigorous, because their stomach is good. Even so there are some souls that do many good works, and yet increase but little in charity, because they do them either coldly and negligently, or by natural instinct and inclination rather than by Divine inspiration or heavenly fervour; and, on the contrary, others there are who get through little work, but do it with so holy a will and inclination, that they make a wonderful advancement in charity; they have little talent, but they husband it so faithfully that the Lord largely rewards them for it.

 

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