No one can be saved without self-knowledge.( St. Bernard of Clairvaux)
Self-discipline is always rewarded by a strength which brings an inexpressible, silent inner joy which becomes the dominant tone of life. Great is the security of the heart when a person has no worldly desires. Because if the heart longs for the attainment of earthly things, it cannot enjoy security and peace, for it is either wishing to possess what it has not or is afraid to lose what it has. Keep a watchful eye over yourself as if you were your own enemy; for you cannot learn to govern yourself, unless you first learn to govern your own passions and obey the dictates of your conscience.
Nobody’s life is smooth and easy. Everybody has ups and downs. We’ve got to expect that. And, since we should expect it we should also be ready for it, prepared for it. Then, when it happens we accept it naturally, as a challenge, as a measure of the stuff of which we are made. Indeed, we may even be eager to try ourselves out, to discover how capable we really are. Our maker gave us two hands. One to hold to him, the other to our fellow man. If our hands are full of—or struggling for- possessions, we can hold in neither God nor humanity. If, however, we hold fast to him, loving spirit will flow through us and out to our neighbour. That is the way to joy, love, achievement and inner peace. So, get busy on yourself. You are the one person for whom you are entirely responsible. Your world, your life can be better only if you make it so. As you improve yourself, you influence all others around you. Keep in mind that you came into this life with a purpose to perform.
A disciple came to Sufi with a purse containing five hundred gold pieces.
“Have you any more money than this? asked the Sufi.
“Yes, I have”.
“Do you desire more?”
“Yes, I do”.
“Then you keep it, for you are more in need than I; for I have nothing and I desire nothing. You have a great deal and still want more.”