Friday, February 21, 2014

Seek always to offer the best part of yourself

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

When giving yourself to others and God, seek always to offer the best part of yourself, to surrender as the property of others in the most generous fashion your inmost self.  To love as Christ loves is to love without condition or restraint.  

Fear not what will be lost or sacrificed or the possibility broken by life or the needs of others.  For indeed to be broken is to allow that which is best within us to pour forth - the divine love that dwells within these earthen vessels.  Let it be so . . . let it be so that "others may breathe the divine perfume."

We must give ourselves; that is, we must bring forth from this interior sanctuary, where we keep the best part of ourselves, some thoughts, chosen from among the best and most lofty, which, once they have gone forth from us, will become acts of love and words of life.  We must firmly resolve to try to give our best, to do all the good we can.  The unknown resources of strength, energy, and nobility lying within our depths must become the property of our brothers and sisters by valiant effort and generous surrender of our inmost personality.

All that life reveals to us each day all that we gain by constant energetic, persevering work on ourselves, all that constitutes our inner being: all of this should one day be turned into words or actions that reveal our soul.  This is truly to give oneself, which is the object of all human life.  It is a difficult task, a heroic effort, to bring forth the thought that is in us, but we must do it, breaking our souls as we might break a sacred vase so that others may breathe the divine perfume.

Elisabeth Leseur
Daily Thoughts (1899-1906)