Thought for the Day – 18 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“The interior mortification of self-love and of our sensual inclinations is not enough.
Bodily mortifiation is also necessary.
St Paul provides the reason. “the flesh lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh” (Gal 5:17)
Original sin disturbed the perfect harmony which existed between man’s body and soul.
“I see another law in my members,” said the Apostle Paul, “warring against the law of my mind” (2 Cor 12:7).
There is no such struggle between the flesh and the spirit in brute animals, which are concerned only with the satisfaction of their sensible appetites.
It is because he is endowed with reason and an immortal soul, that man experiences this conflict.
The result is, that either the soul is conquered and becomes the slave of man’s lower instincts, or, the soul is victorious and uses the body as a instrument of virtue.
We can see from this, how necessary it is to mortify our bodies, so that they will not rebel against the mastery of the soul.
Our body will be either the faithful servant, or the relentless tyrant of the soul!
What penances do I perform?
When do I fast?
Little or never, perhaps?
If so, it is not surprising that my body rebels and causes me to fall into sin.
We must follow the example of Jesus and the Saints in this matter, if we wish to remain in the state of grace.”