Saturday, February 22, 2014

How well Thou knowest how to choose for us the most salutary suffering . . .

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

As servants of Crucified Love, you must allow yourself to become accustomed to suffering and seek to unite your heart to that of the Beloved's.  It is thus that he perfects your faith and draws you close to His Heart.  Such knowledge and understanding will alone help you maintain a spirit of joy in your trials.

You cannot choose our own crosses but rather must trust that God offers you those that are salutary and that mortify the reason and diminish the ego.  You will be asked to sacrifice not that which is simply evil but even legitimate things that hold sway over your heart and keep you tethered to this world.


However, in all things rejoice and give thanks to God for the grace to bear all these things for love and the grace to see His love and presence in your sufferings.  

O my God, Thou dost not refuse me suffering.  For some time Thou has accustomed me to love Thee in the privation of all sensible joys, in a suffering heart and, often enough, in an exhausted body.  I accept all from They had and unite myself to Thy will.  Is it not just that have received all from Thee I should give  Thee something in my turn, and that I should offer Thee the trials, prayers, sacrifices, and humble activity that is Thy daily design for me?  Through all I want to try, by divine grace, to maintain joy of the spirit.

O Lord, for some time Thou hast allowed me the grace of suffering: mental trials, the renunciation of my desires and tastes, deeply felt solitude of the soul . . .  . How well Thou knowest how to choose for us the most salutary suffering, the one that crucifies us and allows the least possibility of egotism and pride.  In my illness there were still subtle temptations for me, and satisfactions that were legitimate and yet too much of this world.  In leaving me this physical misery, with the inconveniences and humiliations it brings, Thou has again hidden this from the eyes of others, and hast sent me other trials, which are also very painful, but truly known only to Thee.

From the bottom of my soul I say to Thee "Thank You."  Blessed are Thou, O Lord, for all this pain, through which Thou has allowed me to expiate my faults, draw near to Thy Heart, and also to obtain, I hope, many spiritual graces for souls and for those I love.

My God, help me to carry the cross Thous has offered me, and let none of this precious grace of suffering be lost to me or to the souls Thou lovest.

Elisabeth Leseur
Resolutions (1906-1912)