The advantages of not excusing ourselves

It takes great humility 
to find oneself unjustly condemned
and to be silent,
and to do this is to imitate our Lord.
The truly humble person
will have a genuine desire
to be thought little of, and persecuted,
and condemned unjustly,
even in serious matters.
 
You know that I deprecate
excessive penances;
here, however,
there is no cause for fear
that your health will suffer.
The interior virtues
do not weaken the body,
but strengthen the soul.
 
Remember how the Lord
took the Magdalen’s part
in the Pharisee’s house, 
and when her sister blamed her.
On the cross, He had only a thief 
to defend Him.
Be glad when you are blamed,
and you will see
what profit you experience in your souls.
 
In this way you will begin
to gain freedom.
It is difficult at first,
but with the Lord’s help,
the gradual attainment of this freedom,
and of renunciation and self-detachment,
is quite possible.

The Way of Perfection, chapter 15
Saint Teresa of Avila

Modern English Version translated and abridged by John Venard OCD

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