“If you ever fear that your will should fall before the lower appetite, or other enemies that attempt to overcome it; if you perceive that your courage and determination are failing, hold your ground — do not retreat from the field. You must regard the victory as your own as long as you are not completely overcome. But, if at times temptations press you so hard that your will, almost overpowered, seems to lack sufficient strength to resist any longer, do not be disheartened, or throw down your arms. Defend yourself and cry out: “I shall never surrender to you! I shall not submit to you!” Act like a person who, struggling with a stubborn enemy and being unable to pierce him with the point, attacks him with the hilt of the sword….withdraw frequently into yourself. Recall your insignificance, your inability to accomplish anything. You will then place great confidence in the almighty power of God, so that you will be able, through His grace, to attack and conquer the passions that oppose you. Here you must implore: “My Lord, My God! Jesus! Mary! Do not abandon your soldier! Do not permit me to be conquered by this temptation!””
From a very good book that I haven’t picked up in twenty years:
Someone on Twitter suggested, for one’s daily Rosary, to pray the Sorrowful Mysteries and their fruits every day of Lent. I had never heard this before. Folks, let me just say, WOW, shockingly good results. Please try it.
- Agony in the Garden, fruit of the mystery: Sorrow for sin
- Scourging at the Pillar, fruit of the mystery: Purity
- Crowing with Thorns, fruit of the mystery: Moral Courage
- Carrying of the Cross, fruit of the mystery: Patience (first with yourself, then others)
- The Crucifixion, fruit of the mystery: Self-denial
If you identify at all with Carmelite spirituality (OCD flavor… St. Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Little Flower) then I highly recommend Divine Intimacy from Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD. It’s a daily manual that follows the liturgical actions of each day of the year. If you are a Trad daily Mass goer, it fits like a glove. I’ve been doing it since Advent, not always great about it, but I like it a lot. Make sure you get a 1963 edition, that follows the 1962 calendar.