Its impossible to avoid vain thoughts

This statement is by an old saintly woman and is available in Benjamin Franklin-Autobiography and other writings

This is one of the books that i have reread and finally bought it!  During his days in London, Franklin lodged in a warehouse. In the garret of this house lived this maiden lady of seventy years. She had wanted to be a nun as a girl but then the weather at the nunnery did not suit her. She vowed to stay back in London and lead the life of a nun as much as possible in those circumstances. She gave all her estate in charity, reserving only 12 pounds a year to live on (This is the 18th century). Even out of this she could give off some in charity. She lived on water gruel only and used the fire only to boil it. She lived here for many years, the tenants of successive years considering her being there as holy.

A priest visited her, to confess her everyday. When asked as to why, given her lifestyle, she had something to confess everyday!? She replied, “Oh, it is impossible to avoid vain thoughts”. When Franklin met her, he found her cheerful and polite, looking pale but not sick. The room was clean and had no furniture except for a mattress, stool, table and a picture of St. Veronica. …Saints the world over have such typical personalities…

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