Monday, February 24, 2014

This involuntary "hair shirt"

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

At times you will seem to carry your cross but feebly.  However, do not become discouraged but rather let the physical and spiritual weakness you experience make you reach out to the Beloved all the more.  The poverty of your suffering will only reveal to you the power of God's grace and how truly bountiful it is for those who cry out to Him.  

Furthermore, such mortifications are greater than any of those you could  have chosen for yourself by your own will.  When embraced they shall become the truer and more perfect acts of reparation. 

My present trial seems to be a somewhat painful one, and I have the humiliation of knowing how badly I bore it at first.  I now want to accept to carry this little cross joyfully, to carry it silently, with a smile in my heart and on my lips, in union with the Cross of Christ.  This involuntary "hair shirt" will replace that which I would never be allowed to wear, and I will thus discipline my pride, egotism, and laxity.  My God, blessed be Thou; accept from me each day the embarrassment, inconvenience, and pain this misery causes me.  May it become a prayer and an act of reparation.

Elisabeth Leseur
Resolutions (1906-1912)