Daily Thought For March 5, 2019

Tips For Growth In Charity

     Do not start thinking, "I would like to be a hermit. I would commit fewer sins against charity." On the contrary, profit from life in common with others to become better - to become holy. We are, without intending it, excellent instruments of humiliation and mortification for each other. Love others, not in spite of that, but because of it. 
     In the same way as strength is made perfect in weakness, charity is made perfect in temptations against charity. The occasion does not make the man; it shows what he is. It would be easy to be patient if there were no occasion for impatience. 
     I have spoken to you at length about abandonment. It rests above all on obedience. It must go further; it must go to the point of accepting, with a smile on your lips, the pinpricks, the thorns, and the contradictions which come to you every day, and very often during the day, from those near you. You have there a goldmine to exploit with many sacrifices. 
    You have good qualities — great qualities. Are you not a marvel of creation, made in the image of God? You are a masterpiece of His love, wounded, disfigured by sin, but remade by the Redeemer, more beautiful than before — and at what a price! You are loved with a great love of predilection. 
     Elevate your thoughts to that level when you look at your brothers and sisters. Think of their souls and see especially their good qualities. Ask in your prayers to see the beauty of the souls which surround you. A soul in a state of grace is the dwelling place of the Father and of Jesus, the temple of the Holy Spirit. It participates in the intimate life of the three Divine Persons. If I could see the splendor of such a soul, I would die from the vision. Lord, increase my faith, so that, not stopping at externals but penetrating beyond them, I may know how to contemplate these divine realities. 
    "Lord, that I may see."
     I do not love my neighbor only for the love of God, as is sometimes said. I love him for himself and have an immense respect for him. We have a tendency to become obsessed by the faults of those around us. That is understandable: it is their faults which make us suffer, and this suffering, in tum, reminds us of them continually. Yet do not I, myself, have even worse faults? We always come back to the case of the mote and the beam! Faults are ugly. Why not look at the virtues which are beautiful? I told you that you must apply yourselves to seeing things with the eyes of Jesus, as He sees them, to loving what He loves. 
     What does our Lord see in our actions? The intention which motivates us. It is that which gives value to our actions. But the good intentions of others so often escape our notice. Do not judge intentions. I assure you, it has happened to me that, having ascribed a bad intention to someone, I have later had the proof, neat and clear, that I was wrong, that he had something completely different in mind than what I thought. What a lesson! As much as you can, ascribe good intentions to your neighbor. (I say "as much as you can," because at times, of course, the contrary is as plain as daylight.) Do not put final labels on others, as if no correction were possible. Shun definitive labels, especially with children. If you are tempted to prefer yourself to others, you can always think, "If So-and-so had received the graces I have received, would he not be much better than I am?" 

from "I Believe In Love — A personal retreat based on the teaching of St. Thérèse of Liseiux" by Fr. Jean C. J. D'Elbée pp.143-145

Popular posts from this blog

Daily Thought For September 28, 2019

Daily Thought For February 28, 2020

Daily Thought For June 11, 2020