Sunday, February 23, 2014

To offer God my incapacity and joyfully to endure being a little misunderstood


Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Sensitive souls often find it painful to be misunderstood and not to be able to serve others as they desire.  To be thought less of or lazy for not being able to carry out your duties may someday be a painful trial for you or to have your love be unappreciated or go unnoticed may bring bitter suffering, but there is great fruit to be had in such things.  These little but frequent  humiliations will prevent you from the dangers of excessive sympathy or admiration.  That poor health is contrary to your wishes makes it the greater albeit hidden mortification.  Be sure to embrace all in a spirit of serenity and let your bearing be one of kindness and joy.  

It is a source of pain and difficult sacrifice to have to divide one's life so much, and always to give to each one less than he expects.  This sometimes leads to a feeling in others  that not enough is being done for them, and they perhaps show some sadness or regret, which becomes a bitter trial to her who is the involuntary cause of it.

And then one's self-love does not like a state of things that makes one less esteemed and appreciated and apparently unequal to one's task.  That perhaps is the true, hidden fruit of this trial: a little humiliation, less dangerous sympathy and admiration, very deep pain that does not elicit any praise.

To make myself do my duty amply, to give generously to each one my efforts, time, affection, a warm and equable welcome, even at the price of sacrifice and renunciation.

To offer God my incapacity and joyfully to endure being a little misunderstood, or, rather, to enduring  being truly misunderstood with my weaknesses, my laziness, my numberless imperfections.  Without this drop of bitterness, the sweetness of the affection surrounding me might make me slide into laxity and self-satisfaction.

My God, I accept my dispersed life, so often contrary to my wishes - this sometimes fatiguing variety of occupations and cares.  Help me to perform all the duties of my state and yet to safeguard my spiritual life.  Let the warmth of my welcome, the serenity of my bearing, the friendliness of my words always hide from everyone the miseries of my poor body, and the efforts and sacrifices of my soul.  Teach me to be all things to all men, and to be more austere within, to myself alone.  To practice greater mortification, especially in a spirit of reparation.

Elisabeth Leseur
Resolutions (1906-1912)