Monday, February 17, 2014

You do not choose to be ill but you can by the grace of God choose to embrace it humbly

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Poor health and emotional distress can be exhausting and can easily pull you into despondency.  But always remember the freedom that is yours in Christ and that your soul by His grace can overcome even the greatest of physical burdens.  

Remember that such things are not an obstacle to growth in holiness and love of God and others.  In fact, they are just the opposite.  They are the most powerful means of sanctification.  You do not choose to be ill but you can by the grace of God choose to embrace it humbly.  Resolve now in your heart and make it your unceasing desire to offer your trials to God for others that they might come to know His love more fully.

I have kept my resolve of silence fairly well, but I have let myself be too much dominated by an exhausting combination of irritation and dejection resulting from bad health.

But what a great thing the soul is . . . !  In depression and physical pain, when our poor mental faculties share the lassitude of the body, the soul is still free and continues to lives its own life, and upheld by a force that it knows to come from above, it dominates the body and keeps it in its place.  But how we need God!  And how quickly we should be conquered without His grace!

New resolution of silence, work and quiet action.  Resolution to do what God wills, not desiring the task that does not belong to me.

To pray and to offer my trials more than ever to obtain for him and for those I love the grace that has been given to me, which is the incessant desire for my soul and the goal of my life.

Elisabeth Leseur
February 21, 1906