Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,
Again, Sr. Wendy Beckett places her finger here on how God must free us from the grip of our own insecurities and self-reliance. We often seek the approval of others - a human measuring stick for our spiritual progress; but it is only when these are lost to us and when we are thrown wholly on God and keep our barren self before Him that we are freed from such self-concern.
God is detaching you, in the only way He could ever do it, from your deadly grip on your own "justice". I know that's an unfair way of putting it, but your trembling insecurities are kept in balance by a sort of hidden self-reliance that you intellectually repudiate, and would indeed practically repudiate, to the best of your power. But these deep, deep clingings are beyond your power - they can only be broken by the mystical action of the Spirit . . .
As along as you have a sense of Him to sustain you - as long as you feel that your prayer is achieving something in you - or even that you are a happy and fruitful woman - let alone the question of external recognition and success, which means much to you precisely in its implicit "approval" of your spiritual course - well, as long as there are even some of these supports, you can never be thrown wholly on God, however earnestly and sincerely you desire it. All you can do now is hold your poor barren self constantly before Him, thanking Him for loving you, and believe that all you suffer is love.
I don't know if this is any help, or only makes things worse. I feel very strongly that you are drawing very near to God, that He is taking you deep into His mystery - but you must endure and want to endure the pain of it.
Sister Wendy Beckett
20 May 1974