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How to Overcome Temptation to Self-Importance

St. Bernardine of Siena

The Name of Jesus is truly a consolation to the afflicted and a protection against the evils of suffering and concupiscence. No matter what, God will not allow his servants to succumb to temptation, for in no way will he allow them to be conquered by their afflictions. There is no despair of forgetfulness in the sweet Name of Jesus if only we call upon it with the greatest intensity…. Yes indeed, for those souls inflamed with love, the Name of Jesus is happiness beyond measure, for the Name of Jesus alone can reveal the intoxicating nature of his love and express the passionate longing of his heart. One should seek no other reward. Is not a man often happy to expose himself to danger for a friend, even though he knows him to be subject to the impermanence of his mortal nature? How much more so should we do this for God, our Jesus, who is immortal and who, as everyone knows, was so glad to suffer for us… Saint Augustine says that the Name of God, when it is written in the hearts of the just, bestows on them such great courage that they endure patiently being unconquered, if you do to me the things that you threated, only let the Name of Jesus be heard, and the tortures will be mild; and if you attack me with fire, the angels will administer to me with the saving dew of heaven. Because of the power of this Name, the holy martyrs triumphed over all their torments, whence the prophet says in Psalm 43: “through your Name we will despise them that rise up against us,” and again in Psalm 123: “our help is in the Name of God who made heaven and earth,” which is to say that this Name is so powerful that in our torments it consoles and assists us. Nor is it to be wondered at that the martyrs sustained so much suffering with so much joy when it was this Name that supported them.

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