Monday, February 24, 2014

Looking joyfully at life and its duties

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Your joyfulness as Philip's daughters must permeate your worldview.  Do not give yourself over to a spirit of divisiveness in relationship or conversations.  Part of your spiritual maternity is to bring an enduring stability to the lives of those around you through your steady and serene character; one that is set on cultivating the good in others and lifting them up in their struggles. Never show the slightest bit of dejection or despondency; a questioning spirit that can undermine your faith and the faith of others in the Church or the value of spiritual discipline.  In this your life will be most fruitful.

There is a way of living and thinking that I would call negative, another that I would call active.  The first consists in seeing always what is defective in men and institutions, not so much to remedy them as to triumph over them; in always looking behind one, and in seeking by preference whatever separates and disunites.  The second consists in looking joyfully at life and its duties; in seeking the good in everyone in order to develop and cultivate it; in never despairing of the future, the fruit of our will; in feeling for human faults and miseries the valiant compassion that leads to action and that no longer allows us to live a useless life.

Elisabeth Leseur
Daily Thoughts (1899-1906)