A sculptor who wishes to carve a figure out of a block uses his chisel, first cutting away great chunks of marble, then smaller pieces, until he finally reaches a point where only a brush of hand is needed to reveal the figure.
In the same way, the soul has to undergo tremendous mortifications at first, and then more refined detachments, until finally its Divine image is revealed. This mortification is recognized as a practice of death. When we die to something, something comes alive within us. If we die to self, charity comes alive; if we die to pride, service comes alive; if we die to lust, reverence for personality comes alive; if we die to anger, love comes alive. Life comes through us.
As the Dalai Lama states, if we ourselves remain angry and then sing about world peace, it has little meaning. We must first have peace within our heart which we can practice with the help of self-control. Then we can teach the rest of the world.
Where there is no obedience there is no virtue, where there is no virtue there is no good, where there is no good there is no love, where there is no love, there is no God, and where there is no God there is no Paradise.–Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
Thank you Lord for teaching me peace of heart through self-control.