Saturday, February 15, 2014
To Keep Alive in Myself Supernatural Joy and the Will to Act
Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,
Walking the rough and narrow road to the kingdom, the path of suffering, is never easy. To walk it with a sustained joy and trust in the Lord requires great grace. There will be many times when the anxieties of life, illness and other privations will cast a pall of sadness over you. Consolation in work and others will be absent. But it is then that you must take up your work for souls most diligently. Sometimes the sacrifice of inaction that illness brings upon you can be the greatest cross. Don't neglect it through absorption in your pain or weaken your concentration on the Lord and this task through speaking too openly about your miseries. Once again make a firm resolution to embrace the asceticism of joy.
It is God's will that, until my most intense wish is granted, I should walk alone in the path of suffering that He has shown us, and that He has made quite rough for me lately. And yet He is more than ever close to me and supporting me.
From the human point of view, no light is visible. Sadness in the present, anxiety for the future, frequent impediments in everything through my illness, the privation of all that could have transformed my life: good and fruitful work, reading - and this because of more immediate and humble duties. Absence of the consolation that contact with people of faith and truly Christian love always brings; physical discomfort - all these at present make a dull, sad atmosphere in my soul.
Today in recollection and humble prayer I will implore the divine aid I need so much . . . . First, I must firmly renounce the concrete visible good I would so much have liked to do; my duty to my dear invalids comes before all, and since I believe in the Communion of Saints, I will ask God to apply to those I love and to souls the sacrifice of this inaction. I must not neglect to meditate daily, for that is so necessary to me, and I will do it when and how I can.
To return to great serenity, inner and outer; to struggle against absorption in beloved ones' suffering; to avoid speaking of my miseries, which is harmful to inner concentration. To be severe with myself and try to acquire more indulgence for others.
Not to dwell upon little wounds that my feelings and convictions perpetually suffer, but to offer them to God. Not to give way to discouragement and a type of moral lassitude as a result of emotional sadness and bodily trials, but to keep alive in myself supernatural joy and the will to act, without any care to know the result of my actions and efforts.