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You have divided you from the truth which strengthens us, and drawn close to falsehood, which weakens soul and body, depriving you of temporal and spiritual grace. What made you do this? The poison of self-love, which has infected the world. That is what has made you pillars lighter than straw. Flowers you who shed no perfume, but stench that makes the whole world reek!

Our Blessed Father had a wonderful aptitude for distinguishing between what was real and genuine and what was false in the shame manifested by his penitents. He used to say that when this confusion was full of trouble and agitation it proceeded from self-love, from vexation and shame at having to own our sins and imperfections, not from the spirit of God.

Natural philosophers call this direction or tendency, SELF-GRAVITATION: NEWTON calls it INERT FORCE: moralists denominate it in man, SELF-LOVE which is nothing more than the tendency he has to preserve himself a desire of happiness a love of his own welfare a wish for pleasure a promptitude in seizing on every thing that appears favourable to his conservation a marked aversion to all that either disturbs his happiness, or menaces his existence primitive sentiments, that are common to all beings of the human species; which all their faculties are continually striving to satisfy; which all their passions, their wills, their actions, have eternally for their object and their end.

Our life and the beauty of youth pass by, like the beauty of the flower when it is gathered from the plant. There is none who can save this beauty, none who can preserve it, that it be not taken, when it shall please the highest Judge to gather this flower of life by death; and none knows when. Oh, wretched man, the darkness of self-love does not let thee know this truth.

Then came the usual difficulty about the lady. I did not want a helpmeet; I can help myself. Nor did I expect to be loved devotedly, for the race has not yet evolved a man lovable on thorough acquaintance; even my self-love is neither thorough nor constant.

Although his ever keen observation, which never forgot anything it had seen, told him that there were in his father's behavior several things which did not accord with his childish and imperious sense of justice, yet he continued to admire him. A child has so much need of an object of admiration! Doubtless it is one of the eternal forms of self-love.

I wonder if hostile criticism pains or enrages you as it seems to do such other authors as I have known. M. Savarin, for instance, sets down in his tablets as an enemy to whom vengeance is due the smallest scribbler who wounds his self-love, and says frankly, "To me praise is food, dispraise is poison. Him who feeds me I pay; him who poisons me I break on the wheel."

The secret is that he loved Christ and others more than he loved himself; therefore he could endure all things for his brethren’s sake, that they might be saved. The cure for self-love and the sensitiveness that comes from it is to turn your eyes away from self to Jesus Christ, and look upon him until you see how little and insignificant you and your interests really are.

You will find that he takes care never to say or do any thing that can be construed into a slight, or a negligence; or that can, in any degree, mortify people's vanity and self-love; on the contrary, you will perceive that he makes people pleased with him, by making them first pleased with themselves: he shows respect, regard, esteem and attention, where they are severally proper: he sows them with care, and he reaps them in plenty.

But if she was amiable, she was still more desirous of appearing so; this lady’s self-love rendered her too sensitive to the regard which men exhibited toward her.

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