“…Sadness is nothing else but the grief of mind which we have over an evil that we experience against our will, whether it be exterior, like poverty, sickness or contempt, or interior, like ignorance, aridity, discontent or temptation….If out of love of God the soul seeks a way to be freed from her troubles, she will seek it with patience, meekness, humility, and tranquility. She will expect deliverance more from the providence of God than from her own labour, industry, or diligence. If she seeks her deliverance from the motive of self-love, then will she excite and fatigue herself in search of this means, as if the success depended more on herself than on God. I do not say that she thinks so, but that she acts as if she thought so. Now, if she does not succeed immediately according to her wishes, she falls into great anxiety and impatience. Instead of removing the evil, she increases it. It involves her in an excessive anguish and distress, with so great a loss of courage and strength that she imagines her evil incurable. You see, then, that sadness, which is justified in the beginning, produces anxiety….
Anxiety is the greatest evil that can befall the soul, sin only excepted. The seditious and intestine troubles of a commonwealth ruin it completely and present it from being able to resist a foreign invasion. So also, when your heart is troubled and disturbed within itself, it loses the strength necessary to maintain the virtues it had acquired. At the same time it loses the means to resist the temptations of the enemy, who then uses his utmost efforts to fish, as they say, in troubled waters….
Whenever you are pressed with a desire to be freed from some evil or to obtain some good, before all else be careful both to settle your mind in repose and tranquility and to compose your judgment and will. Then gently and meekly procure the accomplishing of your desire, taking in regular order the means that may be most convenient….
Consider whether you have our soul in your hands, or whether some passion or anxiety has not robbed you of it. Consider whether you have your heart at your command, or whether it has not escaped out of your hands to engage itself to some disorderly affection of love, hatred, envy, covetousness, fear, uneasiness or joy. If it has gone astray, seek after it before you do anything else and bring it back quietly into the presence of God…They who are afraid of losing anything which is precious hold it fast in their hands….when you perceive that anxiety begins to affect your mind, recommend yourself to God…perform the action, not according to your desire, but according to reason….If you can disclose the cause of your anxiety to your spiritual director, or at least to some faithful and devout friend, be assured that you will quickly find ease.”