Ah! what deceitful lights have bewildered my understanding. Prayer appeared fatiguing to me, religious duties too absorbing, frequent communion unnecessary, the performance of the duties of my position seemed to be a heavy bondage, and devotion only fit for weak and unloving hearts
Oh! I well knew that all this was not true, and notwithstanding I allowed myself to be half convinced.
But at what time, O my God, have I been more actively employed than when I perfectly fulfilled all my religious duties?
At what time have I been more loving and more mindful of others than when I had the happiness of often receiving Holy Communion?
At what time have I been happier and more free than when I fulfilled all the duties of my state of life?
Accept my understanding, O Lord, and nourish it with the truth.
Teach me that, when dissevered from thee, the pleasures of the senses beget remorse, loathing, weariness and satiety.
The pleasures of the heart cause anxiety, bitterness, anguish, and fears.
The pleasures of the mind are futile and void, producing vanity, jealousies, contradictions, and humiliations.
Teach me that all earthly things are fleeting; that there is nothing true, beautiful, good, and eternal but thee, and thee alone, O my God!