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Before starting your activities, offer Jesus a few words of your choosing. Then, during your work often lift up your mind to God. You will benefit much and there will be no detriment to your job. First and foremost, watch how anything concerning yourself or others is begun. Direct it first to God with any short prayer with which he may inspire you, mentally or also in words that express your thoughts and wishes. Then, while working, thinking, or planning, frequently lift up your mind to God. Should your activity continue, break it up, perhaps, for the time it takes to say a “Hail Mary,” or as it may seem convenient to you. If you follow this practice, you will get used to praying easily and without detriment to your work or to your health; you will be praying incessantly, even while drinking, eating, acting, talking, studying, writing, etc. And the external actions will not hinder the interior ones, and vice versa. If you act otherwise, you will be a decent person but not the Christian that Christ wishes and has called you to be. This will be clear to you if you consider closely the way by which Christ has been trying to bind you to himself.

My very dear friend, if my words have any value in your eyes, I invite you, I entreat you, and I compel you in Christ and for Christ to open your eyes and consider well what I have written to you and try to practice it by deeds, not just by words. I can assure you that you will become a new person. In your meditation, prayers, and thoughts, strive to pinpoint your principal defects, most of all the chief one, the Captain-General, as it were, which dominates all the others. Kill it, then, and it will not produce any more offspring. If you treasure the counsels that I have just given you, you will fall in love with Jesus Crucified quite easily.
Saint Anthony Zaccaria

Saint Anthony Zaccaria († 1539) was an Italian priest who promoted devotion to the Passion. He is the founder of the Clerics Regular of Saint Paul (the Barnabites). / From Letter to Mr. Carlo Magni, July 28, 1531. All rights reserved.

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