One of the books I am reading this Lent is Roses among Thorns, Simple Advice for Renewing Your Spiritual Journey. by St. Francis De Sales. If it sounds perfect for Lent, that's because IT IS. I was going to reread Introduction to the Devout Life, and then I saw this. I have only read the first two pages because I couldn't stop reading them over and over.
Jesus the GardenerDo not be anxious. Rouse yourself to serve the Lord with steadfastness, attentiveness, and meekness. That is the true way to serve him. If you can refrain from trying to do all things, but instead attempt to do only some one thing, then you will do much. Practice the mortifications that most often present themselves to you, for that is the first duty to be done. After that you can take up the others. Lovingly kiss the crosses that our Lord himself lays upon your arms, without looking to see whether they are of precious or aromatic wood. They are more truly crosses when they are made of a wood that smells dirty and is considered useless. Mary Magdalene tried to hold on to our Lord; she wanted him for herself. His appearance was not as she had wished it to be, which is why she looked at him without recognizing him. She wanted to see him arrayed in glory, not in the common clothes of a gardener. Yet in the end she knew that it was he when he said to her, “Mary” (John 20:14-16). You see, it is our Lord garbed as a gardener whom we meet day by day, here and there, in the ordinary mortifications that present themselves to us. We want more noble-seeming ones. But the ones that seem the most noble are not best. Before we see him in his glory, he wants to plant many humble flowers in our garden, according to his plan. This is why he is dressed the way he is. Our task is to let our hearts be ever united to his, and our wills to his pleasure.
I am so glad I stumbled upon this book. I won't try to interpret this passage because the way it fits into my life may well be different from the way it fits someone else's. But ALREADY, it is solving some of the problems I routinely encounter. Good ole St.Francis De Sales. And I haven't even gotten my ashes yet!
Tonight, the TLM at Holy Trinity is being offered for my MIL Louise. So that makes it all the more special. This is what we get to immerse ourselves in as we pray the Mass:
Day one, Not too shabby.
"Let us, then, continue to put one foot in front of the other. Provided our hearts be true, we will walk aright"
Roses Among Thorns: Simple Advice for Renewing Your Spiritual Journey by de Sales, St. Francis