499. External works.--There nothing so perilous as what pleases God and man.
For those states, which please God and man, have one property which pleases
God, and another which pleases men; as the greatness of Saint Teresa. What
pleased God was her deep humility in the midst of her revelations; what
pleased men was her light. And so we torment ourselves to imitate her
discourses, thinking to imitate her conditions, and not so much to love what
God loves and to put ourselves in the state which God loves.
It is better not to fast, and be thereby humbled, than to fast and be
self-satisfied therewith. The Pharisee and the Publican.
What use will memory be to me, if it can alike hurt and help me, and all
depends upon the blessing of God, who gives only to things done for Him,
according to His rules and in His ways, the manner being thus as important
as the thing and perhaps more; since God can bring forth good out of evil,
and without God we bring forth evil out of good?
500. The meaning of the words, good and evil.
501. First step: to be blamed for doing evil, and praised for doing good.
Second step: to be neither praised nor blamed.
502. Abraham took nothing for himself, but only for his servants. So the
righteous man takes for himself nothing of the world, nor of the applause of
the world, but only for his passions, which he uses as their master, saying
to the one, "Go," and to
This man spends his life without weariness in playing every day for a small
stake. Give him each morning the money he can win each day, on condition he
does not play; you make him miserable. It will perhaps be said that he seeks
the amusement of play and not the winnings. Make him, then, play for
nothing; he will not become excited over it and will feel bored. It is,
then, not the amusement alone that he seeks; a languid and passionless
amusement will weary him. He must get excited over it and deceive himself by
the fancy that he will be happy to win what he would not have as a gift on
condition of not playing; and he must make for himself an object of passion,
and excite over it his desire, his anger, his fear, to obtain his imagined
end, as children are frightened at the face they have blackened.
Whence comes it that this man, who lost his only son a few months ago, or