Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The maternal sympathy that calms a soul

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Live in the depths; for the Kingdom of God is within you and it is there that the Beloved will purify your heart and enable you to see and understand the meaning and fruitfulness of suffering.  Through your own suffering he will refine your sensibilities and make you more attentive to the slightest movement of sorrow or tenderness in the souls of others.  The sensitive heart is moved with compassion but it is also capable of moving mountains.  It is a maternal sympathy that approaches and calms a soul with the gentlest touch; that can illuminate the heart of the other and give hope.

Men live on the surface of their souls, without ever penetrating their profound and sorrowful depths.  If we knew how to recollect ourselves, how to look clearly into ourselves, and how to understand the meaning and fruitfulness of suffering, then the slightest gesture, the most imperceptible tremble of the most humble human beings would reveal to us these abysses of sorrow or tenderness, which remain wide upon in a soul until the day when another soul pours light into it and causes life to burst forth from it.

The influence exercised by a person is something subtle, penetrating; its strength cannot be measured.  What powerful preaching there can be in simply contact with a soul!  One single soul can change the whole moral atmosphere surrounding it by its solitary light.

Elisabeth Leseur
Daily Thoughts (1899-1906)