Friday, December 12, 2008

One Look at Our Own Poverty and We have the Inspiration to serve others in their Poverty

by
Father Jean-Pierre de Caussade (+1751)
"I experience impetuous desires of acquiring the gift of prayer, humility, gentleness, the love of God; to this I reply: Let us not think so much about our own interests: my duty is to occupy myself simply and quietly with God, to accomplish his will in all that He asks of me at the moment. That is my task; everything else I leave in the care of God; my advancement is his business as mine is to occupy myself ceaselessly with him and to execute his orders.

"My advancement is His business. A good thought to meditate on when we become impatient with ourselves, or worse, with God for not making us perfect yesterday. Ironically, that very spiritual impatience hinders our growth.

"It occurs to me that I am still so imperfect, so full of defects and meannesses, of infidelities and weaknesses; how long will it be before I am delivered from these things? I reply at once: By the grace of God I do not love my faults, I am resolved to combat them; but I shall only be delivered from them when it may please God to deliver me. That is his affair, mine is to hate these faults and to fight them with patience, penitence, and humility until it pleases God to give me the victory over them.

"The thought occurs to me: But I am so blind that I do not even know my faults, yet my duty is to lament them before God and confess them; I at once reply: I wish to know my faults, I no longer live in voluntary dissipation of mind, I spend a certain time quietly examining my conscience. This is what God demands of me; he will give me more light and knowledge when he thinks it well to do so; that is his affair; I have placed all my spiritual progress in his hands; it is, therefore, enough for the present for me to accuse myself of a few daily faults, as God gives me to know them, adding to them a sin of my past life."

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