Grant me, I beseech Thee, Lord Jesus, an inward spirit, that I may keep my heart for Thee, that I may watch over its employments.
For I find it ever busy but, by reason of my neglectfulness, it heeds neither place, nor time, nor objects.
Behold! frequently have I surprised it in strange places, pouring out its feelings, whether of love or of aversion, distracted with emotions, becoming stained by the objects which engaged it.
Frequently have I found it to steal away and give itself up to dissipation at the hours, yea at the very moments, which were specially consecrated to Thee; and when it ought to have been praying to Thee, praising Thee, loving Thee, enjoying Thee
How often have I seen it engaged with objects vain, or even forbidden, when it should have occupied itself with things good or useful! When unguarded, it slips forthwith away, it runs to and fro, it is carried towards different objects, according as it is swayed by different impulses of nature.
It is never at rest: when it escapes from one object, it is entangled in another.
- It is excited by curiosity,
- it is allured by cupidity,
- it is misled by vanity,
- it is defiled by pleasure,
- it is wasted by sadness,
- it is tortured by envy,
- it is disturbed by love and hatred,
- it is worried by its own misery,
- and by worrying itself it is broken down.
Thus is my heart busied, thus is it defiled, when , watch not over it, or when I am careless about it.
~ Imitation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Peter J. Arnoudt, S.J., Book I Chapter XXI