Monday, February 17, 2014

With a silent serenity and simplicity welcome all trials with which you are favored . . .

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Your life has not been without it sorrows; some very deep and others, though they have lost some of their bitterness, still remain ever present to your heart and in your mind.  Yet, carry these things not with regret but as a treasure hidden from all but Love.  To Him they are precious; as are the sacrifices you make in fulfilling your duties to others and God.  

Try to embrace all things from God in a spirit of gratitude and joy and know that there is not one thing you have endured, not one kindness you have shown that goes unnoticed.  Therefore with a silent serenity and simplicity welcome all trials with which you are favored.

To put a veil between my suffering and the outside world.  Illness, sadness, the absence of a Christian atmosphere, which my heart and mind feels so much; the sorrow that, although it has lost its first intense bitterness, is still and always will be the great grief of my heart - the loss of that dear presence and the affection that have been my joy; in the future all these things must be a hidden treasure, concealed from indifferent glances.  Excepting those whose rare affection makes them see through appearances, no one must know of my suffering, nor of the sacrifice I make in concealing it.

I must be all things to all men, occupied only with others' grief, not saddening or troubling anyone around me with mine.  To let my faith be seen only in the works inspired by it, and my sorrow only in the sanctification of my soul.  To know how to smile, sympathize, share; but to keep the weight of my burden from all but God.  Not to be ungrateful, to rejoice simply, with gratitude, in the great affections and delights that Providence has accorded me.

To ask God to draw on the interior reserve of suffering that I bear within the depths of my soul, in favor of souls and of those I love.  Always to welcome trials, little or big, to accept them and offer them.  Then, to keep silence and continue to act in all gentleness and serenity.

Elisabeth Leseur
Resolutions (1906-1912)