Jesus is also so brilliant saying: love goodness, that is, seek and practice all the the virtues, [for example], the virtue of temperance in your use of food and drink. Select what you shall eat and drink in accordance with what is best for your health, not what might flatter your taste buds but damage your well-being and ability to serve others well. He is saying also: be moderate and realistically motivated. In other words, be converted. Give up your self-centeredness and love truth, goodness, and beauty. No matter how far you are advanced or how wayward you are in your spiritual life, if this fundamental change is taking place, you are on your way up, on your way to becoming beautiful. It may take time, but it can happen with the grace of God -- which is always present.
Hence, our conclusion is that the remarkable resistance we experience in getting rid of our faults that we can control is radically rooted in our desperate need for... deep conversion [and] deep prayer.
The logical reaction at this point for any sincere reader understandably may be: "Help! I can't do this by myself." And of course that is perfectly true. The Lord took care of this problem too. Without his Holy Spirit, he told us, we can do nothing (1 Cor 12:3). Surely no one can become a saint without his aid. But the fact is that his help and grace are always present. It is up to us to use what he offers but never forces.
--Thomas Dubay, SM, Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer.