Happy St. Joseph's Day! I especially think of my friend Joyce today, and her special love and devotion to Glorious St. Joseph.
I want to share with you another bit of Roses Among Thorns.
This is from the Chapter called, Saint Peter in Chains.
Do we love our sweet Savior? Oh, he knows full well that if we do not love him, we at least desire to love him. Now, if we love him, let us feed his sheep and his lambs, for that is the mark of faithful love. With what shall we feed these dear little sheep? With love itself, for they either do not love at all, or they live upon love. Between love and death there is no middle. We must die or love, for he who loves not, as St. John says, remains in death.
Or Lord said to St. Peter, "When you were young, you fastened your own belt and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will fasten your belt for you to carry you where you do not wish to go"(cf. John 21:18). Young apprentices in the love of God fasten their own belts. They take up the mortifications that seem good to them; they choose their penances and make up their own minds about God's will. But the old masters of the craft allow themselves to be bound by others and submit to the yoke imposed upon them, and travel down paths upon which they do not wish to travel. In spite of the resistance of their inclinations, they voluntarily allow themselves to be governed against their will and say that they would rather obey than make an offering, and this is how they glorify God, by crucifying not only their flesh, but also their spirit.
All I can say is. wow. With typical clarity and yet profundity, St. Francis de Sales strikes again.
For me, this has been a very Lenten Lent. God knows how hard it is for me to put aside my own plans and preferences, so He has arranged that I am mostly doing things that I am called upon to do, with a little of what I wanted to do for Lent and a small bit of just what I want to do period, thrown in. I have also been dealing with some aches and pains, illness, emotional ups and downs and just a whole bunch of challenges from within and without. But this passage encourages me in that typically Saleseian way.
His loudest message, to me, is always, not to fret about the limitations of my life or my humanity, but to graciously accept everything and also offer everything. Though I am worlds away from the "old masters" referred to above, I take heart that the small ways I am able to serve God through my daily life's path of running about doing small services, are taken into account.
Lastly, friends, know that I am praying for you and offering my small struggles. Please pray for me also, especially my family and friends who are going through trials galore.
I am still being blessed with moments of joy this Lent, despite everything else! Not doing super great with some of my self imposed disciplines, but trying to hold that all loosely and let God lead.