Reflection 119: Interior and Exterior Mortifications


Mortification is a practice of denying your will so as to grow in greater detachment from the passing things of this world.  We must seek to detach from everything but God and His holy Will.  It’s not that everything we like or desire is bad, but if we want true holiness, our desire for God must transform every other desire and direct them all.  Interior mortification consists of ways in which we deny our own thoughts or will.  For example, saying a kind word when we do not feel like it, or holding our tongue when it is hard to hold.  Exterior mortification consists of practices such as fasting from foods we like or giving things up for Lent and throughout the year.  These practices are essential to the spiritual life if you are serious about your relationship with God (See Diary #565).

What are you most attached to?  What seems to control you and direct your desires the most?  It could be a sinful tendency, or it could be a passion for some natural hobby.  Start with your sinful tendencies and look for ways to mortify your desires so as to become strong enough to overcome these sins.  Look also at your natural passions and likes.  Choosing to freely sacrifice these, to a certain extent, from time to time, is a positive and holy way to grow in holiness.  Look for ways to do this and God’s Mercy will flow more abundantly.

Lord, I desire to desire You alone and above all other desires.  Purify me and free me from my many attachments in this life.  Help me to have the courage to make daily sacrifices to You so that my mind and will are more prepared to receive Your Mercy.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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Featured Image Above: Life of Francis of Assisi by José Benlliure y Gil, via Wikimedia Commons