Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I Realize What Duties This Grace Imposes Upon Me . . .


Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Gratitude, above all, for God's love and the graces he has poured upon us, lays upon us a kind of duty; to live an entirely new life and put ourselves and all of our struggles, regrets and griefs at God's disposal in order that he may reveal his love to others through us.  

. . . I have felt such emptiness, sadness and suffering inside that nothing but prayer and divine aid can help me to change these into joy for others and strength for myself.  At the same time I have never for an instant ceased to feel the active presence of God in me.  When I look back and see the wonderful work that God has accomplished in me, the veritable creation of a soul, which only He can perform, I realize what duties this grace imposes on me; and I hope, yes, I hope with all my heart, that some day soon He will grant the same grace to the dears soul that are so close to mine and that I love so deeply.

I want to live an entirely new life.  No one must know the struggles, regrets, and griefs that, like every other human being, I endure; I must organize my existence in such a way that all its various and sometimes complicated duties take their place.

We may live a hidden life or not have the freedom to speak or act as we would like, yet we can still seek to carry out this duty that grace imposes upon us; not by our own strength but aided by God.  This task, Elisabeth Leseur, reminds us, is a delicate one.  We cannot impose our will on others or force our love or God's on them.  We must trust that God, without our knowing how, can enlighten those we love and make use of us although we may be poor, insignificant and weak.  That others may come to know deep intimacy with God should be our greatest preoccupation.

Since I may not have a consistent life on broad clear lines, but must partly veil my inmost being in order to consort with ideas and feelings that are opposed to mine, I want at least to unite with this first duty my wish to work for God and for souls.  It is a delicate task, for which I need the help of a greater strength than mine.

Help me, my God, and, without my knowing it, use me for a little good.  According to a comparison I like, let me be the rough vessel giving forth light and warmth.  Thou art that light; come and enlighten, through me, the souls that are infinitely dear to me.  What a joyful day it will be when those souls shall know and love all that Thou has made me know and love, I who am poor, insignificant, and weak - that day when I shall be able to reveal to them the soul Thou hast truly recreated in me, and when I shall live with them O my God, this deep, intimate, and blessed life that makes new creatures of us and that transforms everything in us and about us!