Wisdom From St. Thérèse
We have our natural likes and dislikes. We feel drawn to one person and may be tempted to go out of our way to avoid another. Well, our Lord tells me that this last is the person I must love and pray for. "If you love only those that love you, what thanks are to you? For sinners also love those that love them."
Nor is it enough to love; we must prove our love. We take a natural delight in pleasing our friends, but this is not charity. Even sinners do the same.
We cannot always, indeed, carry out to the letter the words of the gospel, for occasions arise when we are compelled to refuse a request.
Yet when charity has taken deep root in our soul, it shows itself outwardly. There is always a way of refusing so graciously that the refusal affords as much pleasure as the gift itself.
We must not avoid the importunate. Nor should we be kind for the sake of being considered so, nor in the hope that our kindness will be returned. "Do good hoping for nothing thereby, and your reward shall be great."
The divine precepts do assuredly run counter to our natural inclinations, and without the help of grace it would be impossible to understand them, much less put them into practice.
from 30 Days with a Great Spiritual Teacher - Simply Surrender - Based on the Little Way of Thérèse of Lisieux pp.105-107