Choose a topic from Part 2A:

53. The Weakening or Breaking of Habits

1. Some habits cannot be directly destroyed. The intellectual habit of first principles, for instance, cannot be directly overcome or banished; as long as a man is normal and conscious, he knows that he exists, and that he can think, and that an existing thing cannot be at the same time nonexistent. But many habits can be destroyed. The habit of a science (that is, evidenced knowledge in a definite field) can be forgotten, or maybe spoiled by deception entering into it. And a moral virtue (which is a habit) can be destroyed by perversity and sin.

2. Habits can be increased, and some of them can be decreased or weakened. Not every habit that increases can be decreased, for some habits grow like a growing body which increases to maturity but cannot decrease to immaturity again.

3. Some habits may be weakened or destroyed by neglect, that is, by continued failure to perform acts which accord with them. A musician may lose his skill by neglecting practice. A friendship may perish through failure of friends to meet or communicate.

"Many words do not satisfy the soul; but a good life eases the mind and a clean conscience inspires great trust in God."
Thomas á Kempis

* * *

"Spiritual persons ought to be equally ready to experience sweetness and consolation in the things of God, or to suffer and keep their ground in drynesses of spirit and devotion, and for as long as God pleases, without their making any complaint about it."
St Philip Neri

* * *

"Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise. "
Thomas á Kempis

* * *