You are not to go to extremes ….

[Photo: Saturday morning market in Ovada (Italy), birthplace of St. Paul of the Cross]

“Think of the advice I have given you so that you do not force your children into holiness. I will use the expression, on wings, but lead them gently with discretion to Christian perfection, to fear God, and to avoid sin. I have also said that a quarter of an hour meditation or, at most, half an hour is enough for your sons and daughters; otherwise they will be wearied and will do nothing because they see themselves forced.

How much I have recommended to you that your daughters choose that state of life which they are called? You have a fine desire that they should be nuns, but, if God does not call them, what is to be done? If the Providence of the Lord wishes that they be married, why will you not agree to that? Perhaps they cannot be holy while married?

I have also told you not to hold them in a tight slavery, and that at times have them take honest recreation under the eye of their mother. Otherwise, they will be wearied and will be saddened in manner and lose devotion, courage, and even health. But you have put little, if any, of my advice into practice. I know that. Dear Thomas, you are not to go to extremes; that is dangerous. Holy discretion is the salt that leads all to virtue.”

(St. Paul of the Cross to Thomas Fossi, 20 December 1755)

One Response to “You are not to go to extremes ….”

  1. kathy Says:

    Its funny how His letters always tell me just what I need to know

    Thanks, Kathy <

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