I was so glad to hear from you, and nothing in your letter was unexpected: you have been much on my heart these last weeks. I knew you were intensely wretched, but felt I should wait until you yourself had found the ability to set it down. Dearest daughter, that loveless slum you see in yourself is quite truly you - I won't pretend otherwise, but it is you seen in the light of God. The "you" that He passionately loves, that He chooses to be most intimately possessed in a love-union - that you is the poor thing you experience as your true self. So, despair is the last thing to feel, rather a blazing surge of hope and gratitude that His love doesn't depend at all on our beauty or goodness. But there is even more joy to it than this, because we just can't see our poverty unless He shows it.
So to see it is clear proof that He is present, lovingly and tenderly revealing Himself to you. It's the contrast you are experiencing - can you understand? How do you know you are weak and unloving? Only because the strength and love of Jesus so press upon you that, like the sun shining from behind, you see the shadow. This is the surest way to Him. These are the only two essentials the soul can see - in this life we can't encompass both. Either we see all in the light of Him, and primarily self, or see only Him and all else is dark. It means we lose ourselves in Him - or die - nothing else really has been left.
I do so hope you can believe me. I know how very much He wants you to accept this, but I can't find the luminous words that reveal Him . . .
Sister Wendy Beckett
18 June 1975