The Spiritual Combat: HOW TO CURB THE SUDDEN IMPULSES OF YOUR PASSIONSIF YOU ARE NOT able as yet to bear patiently the injuries, insults, and other disturbances of this life, you must harden yourself for this task by foresight and by preparing for their reception.
Having discovered the nature of the passion from which you suffer the most, you must consider what kind of persons you have to deal with, what places you are wont to visit. From this data, you can discover just what disturbances are likely to occur.
However, if any unforeseen accident should happen, although it is a tremendous advantage never to be unprepared for any mortification or trouble, We shall point out a way of greatly relieving it.
The moment you find that you are affected by some unforeseen, injurious circumstance, be on your guard. Do not lose your self-control. Raise your mind to God and regard the occurrence as a trial from Heaven. Reflect that God Himself, gentle Father that He is, permits this only that you may be able to purify yourself still more and unite yourself more closely to Him. He is infinitely pleased when He sees you cheerfully undergo the greatest trials for His sake.
Then turn your thoughts to yourself. Reprimand your lack of courage in this way: "Coward! Why do you turn from a cross placed upon you not by an ordinary person, but by your Father Who is in Heaven?" Then turning to this cross, accept it not only with submission but with joy saying: "O Cross, made for me from the beginning by Divine Providence; Cross that the love of my crucified Jesus makes sweeter to me than the greatest of sensual pleasures, place me upon thee that I may be united to Him Who became my Redeemer when He died in your arms."
But if you find that you have been influenced so greatly that you are incapable of elevating your mind to God, and that even your will is affected, stop the evil there. It does not matter what agitation may have been stirred up in your heart. Spare nothing to conquer it. Beg Heaven for assistance with great fervor.
Of course, the surest way of checking these first impulses of improper desires is to endeavor to eliminate the cause beforehand. For example, if you see that, because of an excessive attachment to anything, you are angered whenever your inclinations are denied, break off that attachment and you will enjoy perfect peace.
If the uneasiness you feel does not come from a liking for some pleasure, but from a dislike of some person who seems disagreeable to you in every act he performs, the best cure for this disease is to endeavor to love this person, despite the antipathy you may feel. Do this, not only because he was created to the same image of God, and redeemed by the same Precious Blood of Christ as yourself, but also because by bearing patiently with certain defects you imitate your Heavenly Father Whose love and goodness extends to all people without exception.