Although the true servant of Christ who aspires to perfection should set no limit to his advancement, there are some kinds of spiritual fervour which require to be restrained with a certain discretion, lest, being embraced too ardently at first, they should give way and leave us in the midst of our course.
Hence, besides what has been said as to moderation in exterior exercises, we have to learn, moreover, that even interior virtues are best acquired gradually, and in their due order; for thus what is small in the beginning soon becomes great and permanent.
Thus, for instance, we should not ordinarily attempt to rejoice in afflictions, and to desire them, till we have first passed through the lower degrees of patience.
-The Spiritual Combat.
From Principles and Practices
Compiled by Rev. J. Hogan of The Catholic Missionary Society
Published by Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., Publishers To The Holy See
Nihil Obstat; Eduardus J. Mahoney, S.T.D. Censor deputatus.
Imprimatur; Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius generalis.
First printed in 1930