MAY 21 – Temperance
The simple gillyflower and its daughters
Let us now enter to see and visit in our gardens another very rich and affluent family and very distinguished in the plant world: it is the gillyflower or viola. Some are simple and others double: the first are the mothers because they produce seeds. The simple violas are virgins and others are united or married. The first do not have the quality to fertilize the simple, making them double, which then are the most beautiful. The married has in its seeds the quality to produce one or the other, that is, the simple and the double. How do they marry? Take the simple viola and transplant it with the double close to each other that their roots touch. The double does not produce seed but the simple becomes fertilized by it and its seed produce double and simple daughter violas. Which is the mother? Of course, the simple. Well then this is it.
Cardinal virtue – temperance
But is not the double more beautiful? Yes: Let us unite the two in one bouquet and we will have all. Temperance is a virtue that moderates the passion of a person. The attendants of temperance are honesty and shame, or rather, modesty and bashfulness; and its daughters are, the abstinence, sobriety, chastity, virginity, continence, clemency and modesty. With these principal virtues come the associated virtues such as penance, voluntary poverty, meekness, humility, studiousness and appropriate way of dressing.
The temperance in Mary
Mary had her passions very well ordered from her immaculate conception, and due to special privilege, none of them ever rebelled against her. She was perfect in this virtue.
The viola to Mary
How are the passions in you? There is one that leads the others and is called dominant. How do you control it? Do you check it? Ah! it will kill your soul if you leave it unrestrained. See what your dominant passion is and subdue it; once this is subdued and conquered, all the rest will be subordinated. Resolve it in this way and taking the flower of your intentions say to Mary when you entrust them to her:
Lady, I present to you the gillyflower emblem of temperance. I oblige myself to be tamed, to keep under control and to subdue my dominant passion. Strengthen my resolution and take it up as if it were yours.
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