Choose a topic from Part 2A:
1. Bodily pain is a hindrance to the mind in its efforts to study, whether to learn new things or to attend to what is already learned. Pain may be so intense as to draw the whole attention of the mind to itself, and this makes learning impossible. Yet a man deeply devoted to learning may continue to use his mind despite a considerable degree of bodily pain. As for mental distress, a mild sorrow may actually incline the mind to study, especially to study the things of God through whom man hopes to be freed from pain and sorrow.
2. Pain is a burden upon the soul; it is a cause of depression.
3. Therefore, sorrow weakens the activity of the soul. What is done in sorrow or pain is ordinarily not so well done as it would be done without a burdening influence upon the soul. But, unless sorrow be overwhelming, it may sometimes, indirectly, improve the work of the soul inasmuch as the soul is determined to shake it off and banish it by strict and careful attention to the work in hand.
4. Of all the passions, sorrow or pain is the most harmful to man's bodily being. It is a depressing and contractive influence, repugnant to the normal movements of life.
"Let persons in the world sanctify themselves in their own houses, for neither the court, professions, or labour, are any hindrance to the service of God."
St Philip Neri
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"God commands not impossibilities, but by commanding he suggests to you to do what you can, to ask for what is beyond your strength; and he helps you, that you may be able."
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"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
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