Friday, February 14, 2014

Not to give way to the indolence of mind and body that comes inevitably with poor health . . .

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Sometimes it will be struggles with health that pull you into a state of despondency.  It is then that embracing and maintaining the "asceticism of joy" can be the most difficult.  Weakness, pain, and the emotional fatigue that comes with them may make you lose hold momentarily of the joy that is yours as a daughter of God as well as the awareness that you belong even more to God in the moments of suffering than in times of ease.  As much as you can do not give in to the spirit of listlessness but hold firm to your resolutions as much as strength allows.  

Painful time of illness.  Always the same uncertain future.  Yesterday, a spell of weakness and tears, which I regret.  Today the resolution, with God's help, to be cowardly no more; to become joyful again; to subdue the body through the soul, which belongs more than ever to God, in suffering more that in joy.

My God, give health and happiness to those I love; give them faith and love, the life of the soul, and I ask for nothing more.

To hold firmly each day to my resolutions: daily meditation, regular and thorough work, and quiet action.  Not to give way to the indolence of mind and body that come inevitably with a poorer state of health; to keep up my energy and to force myself to be neither sad nor discouraged.

Elisabeth Leseur

1 comment:

  1. To maintain joy, or in order to experience joy, I have found it helpful to identify what type of day I am really having - My day was rough because it was emotional or full of physical challenges or because my child had a cranky day. This way, over time, it makes it easier to separate the suffering/challenge of the day with the quiet joy that comes from knowing one is a "daughter of God" and being at peace with the rough part of my day. This way too, I can say, my day was rough because of xyz, but it wasn't bad or terrible. A day can be tough but ok, good, peaceful and calm. Terrible/bad is a clear indication that to me that peace/joy was lost. Clearly joy is a resolution to stay firm on!