It is only by fidelity in little things that the grace of true love to God can be sustained, and distinguished from a passing fervor of spirit. . . . No one can well believe that our piety is sincere, when our behavior is lax and irregular in its little details. What probability is there that we should not hesitate to make the greatest sacrifices, when we shrink from the smallest?
Nothing is less sincere than our mode of asking and giving advice. He who asks seems to have a deference for the opinion of his friend, while he only aims to get approval of his own and make his friend responsible for his action. And he who gives advice repays the confidence supposed to be placed in him by a seemingly disinterested zeal, while he seldom means anything by his advice but his own interest or reputation.
Man is never less sincere than when he asks, or offers, advice. When he asks it, he seems to defer to the wisdom of his friend, but really he seeks approval of his own opinion, and to make his friend responsible with him for his actions. When he offers advice, he seems to repay the confidence of his inquirer with disinterested zeal, while really seeking to bolster his own advantage or reputation.
Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613 - 1680)
Source: Réflexions ou Sentences et Maximes Morales
If you make a habit of sincere prayer, your life will be very noticeably and profoundly altered. Prayer stamps with its indelible mark our actions and demeanor. A tranquillity of bearing, a facial and bodily repose, are observed in those whose inner lives are thus enriched. Within the depths of consciousness a flame kindles. And man sees himself. He discovers his selfishness, his silly pride, his fears, his greeds, his blunders. He develops a sense of moral obligation, intellectual humility. Thus begins a journey of the soul toward the realm of grace. . . . [Continued]