Thursday, February 13, 2014

May Others See In Me Only What Is Permanent And True

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

There is such a need for gentle and sympathetic hearts in the world; for those who can look upon others with the tenderness of a mother.  The loftiest work in life is often the most hidden; for the world cares little for souls and their wounds.  To be a Christian and an apostle means to love souls as your Master and Savior.  Give yourself to Him, consecrate yourself to the One who has given you so much!   Withhold nothing from your Lord or others through egotism or a touchy pride; not even those who have been the cause of much pain and hardship.  For often, you too, have been the source of sorrow for others.  Seek not to be understood so much as to love and give yourself in love.  Let the peace of Christ in your soul be that which draws others and your joyfulness a harbor for those burdened by life.

What souls are need now to combat hatred, prejudice, egotism and pride!  What intelligence, perception, generosity, and total selflessness!  A part in this great work is offered to me, but how little worthy I am!  And yet God will help me if I call Him to me by sacrifice and prayer.

I have felt strongly, during this time, that I am at a turning point in my life, that I have come to a time when I must make a more noble, lofty work of it, and make it serve better the holy cause of God and souls.

The tremendous longing to be an apostle, renewed love of souls - all this through the divine grace I have lately been conscious of.  But how much there is in that thought: to be a Christian, to be an apostle, and how little worthy I am of these two titles!

God has not done so much for me without expecting something from my free and humble cooperation.  With all my soul I give myself to Him; from today I consecrate my life to Christ and to souls.  Lord, Thy Kingdom come in the world, in souls, and in me to whom Thou hast given so much, and who would wish to be less unworthy of the Master and Savior Jesus Christ.

I will destroy egotism in myself, all "touchiness" and pride, and I will try to be gentle and humble even toward those who cause me pain and affliction.  Besides, I too, have done wrong by them; I have not been sufficiently good and openhearted toward them.  If they misunderstand me, so much the better - I shall have less pride, and it will be for God alone and through supernatural charity that I will try to work good among them.

Not to give way, in moments of fatigue or sadness, to the temptation to slacken my efforts; to remain valiant at whatever sacrifice, and in times such as this to invoke more than ever the strength that is not of this world, but which is given to us.

To apply myself soon to hard intellectual work, so useful to me, and to maintain equilibrium in my mind and in my life, which is haunted by too man cares at present.

To be unswervingly faithful to the daily task, in big and little things, in work, in painful inaction, in illness and suffering as much as in joy and health.  May those who draw near to my soul sense that it is rooted firmly in God, and is peaceful and lively because of it.

The restless waves that sometimes beat against my soul are human things that come to it from outside; may others see in me only what is permanent and true; never may any soul hold back discouraged from mine because agitations and worldly complications have hidden the way of approach; may my soul be as smiling as my lips towards all, and may Thy Word, O my God, inspire my humble word and make it fruitful.

Elisabeth Leseur