Self Conquest Through Mortification

MORTIFICATION means “putting to death.” The person who wants to live more for God, must live less for his blind natural appetites and unreasoning desires. He will look to God’s holy Will and follow it ever better each day. His likes and dislikes, his feelings and moods will react whenever he tries to do what is unpleasant or difficult, but he seeks to follow his intelligence regardless of feelings and moods.
Thus, the mortified man succeeds in dying to self so that he may live more perfectly to God. He overcomes his natural self in order to follow God’s holy Will more perfectly. He kills his faults and defects in order to let greater virtues live within his soul.
A final note must be added if we are to conduct ourselves intelligently in this holy practice of mortification. It is this. Human desires and emotions are natural to man. That means that they cannot be destroyed. They are made more perfect insofar as one succeeds in controlling and directing them by the grace of God. Thus, “dying to self” means the right use of human emotions and desires. They are to be followed insofar as they help us to fulfill God’s holy Will, and they are to be controlled insofar as they hinder us from doing so.
This is highly important in this period of lent. self mortification is one of the keys to holiness. It is the secret behind the exceeding sucesses of the great men and women who have made it to be saints.

Thank you, Cliff! A very timely reminder of the purpose of Lent… and how we can all strive toward the Will of God. May He bless you abundantly.

A brachah (blessing) is like rain. Just as rain benefits only the plowed and sown field, but a field lying waste, unplowed and unsown, will benefit from neither soft rain, nor the early or later heavy rains – so, too, a blessing will benefit only one who prepares himself to receive it…

– Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov

Can anyone recommend any good books on self-mortification? I think it would come in very handy for this Lenten season.

God Bless!

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a’Kempis is a great book if you get one with a good translation. Stay away from modern translations.

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