I wanted to do a 7 Quick Takes on Friday, but the snowstorm on Thursday pushed all my errands to Friday, plus there is a nasty cold going around my house of which I was one of the lucky recipients. I am still coughing, sneezing and blowing my nose. And my voice has dropped an octave. I made it through work this weekend, but missed mass, Today I am trying to do some chores but also get some rest, which is admittedly not very realistic. But blogging is at least a sitting down thing, so. All that as a preface, here are some things I wanted to share.
This lovely passage from Roses Among Thorns, which I will type out, to avoid that weird box that comes with pasting text.
Be patient with all, but especially with yourself. Do not trouble yourself about your imperfections. Always have the courage to pick yourself back up and begin again every day, for there is no better path to success in the spiritual life than always to begin again and ever to think that you have done enough.
Pardon Your Heart
We must always desire to carry out our spiritual exercises well and with precision, both prayer and the exercise of the virtues, and we must never be troubled, anxious, or surprised if we fail to do so. Our desires depend upon our fidelity, which should always be total and yet should grow from day to day; our failures are caused by our infirmity, which we will never be able to leave behind during this mortal life. When we have committed some fault, we should immediately examine our heart and ask ourselves whether we retain a lively and thorough resolution to serve God.
One hopes for a heart that would rather suffer a thousand deaths than fail to keep this resolution. We reprove our heart, "Why, then, are you hesitating now? Why are you so cowardly?" And we make our excuse,:"I was taken by surprise, and I hardly know how it happened, but now I am again thinking of my resolution." The heart must be pardoned. It is not through infidelity that it failed, but through infirmity. It must be corrected gently and calmly, that it not be brought to anger or further trouble. We should say to it, "My heart, my friend, in the name of God, be courageous. Let us walk together, taking care as we go, lifting ourselves up to our help, to our God." And, we must be charitable toward our soul, not taking it to task severely, provided we see that it is not offending purposefully. Do you not see that in treating it this way, we practice a holy humility?
It really strikes me how many times he unapologetically uses absolutes and commands; always, never, must, should. We in this present day are taught to avoid speech like that, yet if you read it and glean the message, it is anything but offensive, just clear and forthright. Yet, the message is one of having patience, compassion, and clearly seeing oneself. Which is as De Sales says at the end, the very definition of humility. Seeing ourselves as we really are.
My Lent has been full of such messages, and I do take them to heart as being straight from God. Not only as a way of dealing with myself, but also with others. The tender conversation between the person and his heart is so gentle but spot on in its message. "Okay, that thing happened, (maybe AGAIN). Let's go forward and offer it to God, asking for the grace to remember next time before we do that." Or something. If you have kids, what a good message about correcting with patience and without rancor. That correlation of God as Father and we as parents can also be applied to our souls/hearts.
For those of us enjoying our first tastes of Spring, hurray! Right?