As soon as we fall into a fault, or have wandered, we must turn again within ourselves; because this fault having turned us from God, we should as soon as possible turn towards Him, and suffer the penitence which He Himself will give.
It is of great importance that we should not be anxious about these faults, because the anxiety only springs from a secret pride and a love of our own excellence. We are troubled at feeling what we are.
If we become discouraged, we shall grow weaker yet; and reflection upon our faults produces a vexation which is worse than the sin itself.
A truly humble soul does not marvel at its weakness, and the more it perceives its wretchedness, the more it abandons itself to God, and seeks to
remain near to Him, knowing how deeply it needs His help. God’s own word to us is, “I will instruct thee, and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye” (Ps. xxxii. 8).
In distractions or temptations, instead of combating them directly, which would only serve to augment them, and to wean us from God, with whom alone we ought to be occupied, we should simply turn away from them, and draw nearer to God; as a little child, seeing a fierce animal approaching it, would not stay to fight it, nor even to look at it, but would run for shelter to its mother’s arms, where it would be safe. “God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early” (Ps. xlvi. 5).
If we adopt any other course of action, if we attempt to attack our enemies in our weakness, we shall be wounded, even if we are not entirely defeated; but remaining in the simple presence of God, we find ourselves immediately fortified.
This was what David did: he says, “I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my
right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth; my flesh also shall rest in hope.” It is also said by Moses, “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace” (Exod. xiv. 14).