…and reflect with some satisfaction the small mortification you have made, consider the life of the Saint whose feast it is today: Saint Peter of Alcantara. Here is a partial list of his mortifications:
He sought to overcome sleep by constantly kneeling or standing. When nature forced him to sleep, he sat on a hard chair and leaned his head against a piece of wood affixed to the wall. He did not lie down to sleep; he could not, inasmuch as his cell was only 4 1/2 feet in length.
He never put his hood up to shield from rain or sun, and never wore shoes, regardless of the weather.
He used only one rough tunic made from coarse cloth, underneath this he wore a hair shirt fastened on tin plates, which he never took off. He would open his cell door and window in cold weather and shut it in hot weather.
He would go 2-3 days at a time without food.
For the first three years of his vocation as a friar, he never lifted his eyes, and so did not know any of his religious brethren except by the sound of their voice.
It is said he made a compact with his body never to give it any rest in this world.
He was a friend and supporter of St. Teresa of Avila, and she was told by God that no prayer offered in the name of Peter of Alcantara could be refused.
When he died, St. Teresa was made instantly aware of it, though many miles away. St. Peter of Alcantara appeared to her and said, “O happy penance, which has won me such great glory!”
The martyrology contains many examples of great miracles attributed to this saint, both while on earth and after his death.
Oh, and one more thing– such a life of severe mortification and lack of food and sleep must have taken its toll physically, right? He must have died young? Well, not exactly. He lived to the age of 63, having practiced his program of mortification for 47 years.
That’s a lot of donuts not eaten.