Saturday, May 23, 2015

when we become desperate

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

So much energy is expended in lamenting over or desperately trying to control the things about ourselves and our lives that make us feel weak, ineffective or powerless.  Such misery is real and at times we become desperate.  We are not stoics and so with hands upraised, we cry out to God for his mercy.  Yet, let these cries be expressions of faith; for it is precisely through these things that we abandon the illusion of self-sufficiency and through which we come to an ever deeper trust in God.  If we give in to discouragement, we show simply that we have understood nothing of God's ways . . . 

We are conscious of our infirmities; we know how deep-seated they are, how overwhelming at times. But is that a reason to be discouraged? Quite the contrary. The Lord likes to choose what is weakest: Infirma mundi elegit Deus. Why? Ut non glorietur omnis caro in conspectu ejus: “So that no being may glory in himself before God.”

If our bemoaning of our misery leads to immense trust in God, then our cries are salutary and God listens to them favourably.

But if our sorrow brings us to discouragement, it is rather an injury to God since we forget His goodness; it shows that we have understood nothing of God’s ways. We are then like those, who, despite the favours God had always showered on them, “forgot the multitude of His mercies”: Non fuerunt memores multitudinis misericordiae tuae. May this reproach never be levelled at you!

Blessed Columba Marmion.

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