From St. Francis of Assisi
How Virtue Drives Out Vice
1. Where there is charity (love) and wisdom,
there is neither fear nor ignorance.
2. Where there is patience and humility,
there is neither anger nor disturbance.
3. Where there is poverty with joy,
there is neither covetousness nor avarice (greed).
4. Where there is inner peace and meditation,
there is neither anxiousness nor dissipation.
5. Where there is fear of the Lord to guard the house (cf. Lk 11:21),
there the enemy cannot gain entry.
6. Where there is mercy and discernment,
there is neither excess nor hardness of heart.
St. John of the Cross says that two contraries cannot exist in the same person. If I have joy, I cannot also have despair. This passage from St. Francis reminds me of that. When I allow the goodness of God to fill my life, the vices that have tended to characterize my life leave. Over time my life shifts. I become more aligned with who God has created me to be. I become more “true” to myself.