Penance to be sure must be used as a tool, in due times and places, as need may be. If the flesh, being too strong, kicks against the spirit, penance takes the rod of discipline, and fast, and the cilice of many buds, and mighty vigils; and places burdens enough on the flesh, that it may be more subdued. But if the body is weak, fallen into illness, the rule of discretion does not approve of such a method.
You are obliged to love your neighbor as yourself, and loving him, you ought to help him spiritually, with prayer, counseling him with words, and assisting him both spiritually and temporally, according to the need in which he may be, at least with your goodwill if you have nothing else.
We were enclosed, O eternal Father, within the garden of your breast. You drew us out of your holy mind like a flower petaled with our soul's three powers and into each power you put the whole plant, so that they might bear fruit in your garden, might come back to you with the fruit you gave them. And you would come back to the soul, to fill her with your blessedness. There the soul dwells like the fish in the sea and the sea in the fish.