Even if we do fasting, strict austerities, and acts such as scourging there are many saints like St. Martin De Pores who scourged themselves every night. St. Gemma jumped into a icy pond to avoid temptations she also prayed three Hail Marys with her hands under her knees for the virtue of purity in spite of her illness But if one fails to be successful in small things their efforts result in imperfectness, they cannot attain sanctity, these have been my personal experiences many times we all are weak many times in dying to self but we can do all things till the best of our efforts through him who strengthens us, we need to implore the Lord to grant us the graces to be perfect in small things so that he may entrust us with bigger things for his glory. For example, a soul with a subtle appetite for pride, might do well to seek those mortification that is opposed to this vice, such as; seeking humiliations, remaining silent when accused, never speaking about himself, and keeping hidden any austerities he may have permission to practice. As Saint John reminds us, we must concentrate our efforts on our weakest traits, for in freeing ourselves of its slavery, we will be able to make rapid progress in love. (Again, returning to the principle: One cannot give what he does not have. You must first possess yourself, in order to give yourself away.) We must especially lay the ax to the dead roots of self-love, which can manifest itself in even the smallest of things, whether it is attachments to sensible objects, such as; items of clothing, one's cell, food prepared a certain way, etc., or greater interior attachments such as the need for affirmation, pleasure in the praise of others, excessive desires for spiritual consolations
2). Exterior Mortification
This includes, self humbling like fasting, lying in the ashes, putting
on the sackcloth. The best example found in the Bible is the people of Nineveh they repented when they heard the prophet Jonahs words, they wore sackcloth, they repented so God's chastisement did not come upon them, they fasted for a whole week
"Arise, go to Nineveh the great city, and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me."
Then Jonah began to go through the city one day's walk; and he cried out and said, "Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown."
Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them.
Jesus himself spoke of Nineveh's repentance
Matthew 12:41 ?
The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here.
God loves this type of repentance, God is pleased with self humbling, Jesus fasted for forty days, being let by the spirit and how much more must we fast
And we notice in the Bible the day of atonement on which every Israelite fasted, During wars mostly the Israelites were asked to fast and Israel was victorious in the battles, When David sinned with Bathsheba, David humbled himself by fasting and putting on sackcloth refusing royal food, the Lord forgave him
There are many other occasions in the Bible and in the lives of saints where penances pleased God, there are many hermits like Abba Anthony of Egypt, St. Mary of Egypt, St. Rosa Lima, St. Catherine of Sienna who spend their life in strict penances both exterior and Interior
There is much more to be added to make it a short article, I wrote it shortly
I will conclude this article with the words of St. Paul
Galatians 5:24 ?