You well know the obligations of your Christian way of life; they will lead you safely and surely to sanctity. You have also been forewarned about the difficulties, or practically all of them, because you can already get a rough idea of them at the beginning of the road. Now I wish to emphasise that you must let yourselves be helped and guided by a spiritual director, to whom you can confide all your holy ambitions and the daily problems affecting your interior life, the failures you may suffer and the victories.
Always be very sincere in spiritual direction. Don’t make allowances for yourselves without checking beforehand; open up your souls completely, without fear or shame. Otherwise this smooth and straight road will become tortuous, and what at first was trivial will end up strangling you like a noose.
Do you remember the story of the gypsy who went to confession? It is only a story, a joke, because we never talk about confession and, besides, I have a very high opinion of gypsies. Poor fellow! He was very sorry for what he had done. ‘Father,’ he said, ‘I have stolen a halter.’ Nothing much to worry about there, is there? ‘And with it there was a mule... and then, another halter... and, another mule.’ And so on, up to twenty. My children, it is the same with us. Once we give in and steal the halter, the rest follows, a whole string of evil inclinations, bringing wretchedness, degradation and shame. Something similar can happen in our dealings with others: at first there is a small, cutting remark, and in the end people can end up cold shouldering each other, and living in an atmosphere of icy indifference. (Friends of God, 15)