See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I'm trying to remember something too important to forget...


Seeking a homeland... (Hebrews 11)
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A day before my mother died she told the nurse, "I keep trying to die but I don't know how."  The state of abandonment can be much like that I think.  "I keep trying to abandon myself to Divine Providence, but I don't know how."  Or, "I keep trying to pray but I don't know how."  And, "I keep trying to live in the presence of God but I don't know how."  I'll stop with the analogies there.  Simple - even crass souls will know what I mean.  The desire for prayer is a prayer, the practice of the presence of God is a prayer, the prayer of abandonment to God is an act of the will and I think, a state of prayer.  I'm not sure what I'm trying to say here, except that it is something too important to forget...  From Fr. de Caussade:
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Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen... (Hebrews 11)
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"Poor souls who are so scorned by others despise themselves just as much as the others do.  All they do, all they suffer seems as trifling and despicable to them as it does to others.  There is nothing impressive about them.  Everything is very ordinary.  They are spiritually and mentally troubled, and their everyday lives are full of disappointments.  They are often unwell and need many attentions and comforts, the very opposite of the austere poverty so much admired in the saints.  In them we can see no burning zeal, no achievement of great enterprises, no overwhelming charity and no heroic austerity.  Though united by faith and love to God, they find nothing but confusion in themselves. [...]
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It seems to me that it is obvious from all of this that these souls, who have abandoned themselves to God, cannot as others do, become attached to people or concern themselves with normal aspirations, normal pursuits and activities.  If they did, it would imply they were still free to run their lives as they wished, and that would be a denial of of their self-abandonment. [...]
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We must not become upset and worried by the humiliations which come from the aspect we present to the world.  Let us shelter behind this outer husk and enjoy God, who is all in all to us.  Let us benefit by our weaknesses and failures, our fears and doubts; let us draw good from our infirmities which cause us to need special food and care, and from the contempt we are shown.  Let us find all our happiness in God, who by these means gives himself to us as our only good.  He wants the dwelling we offer him to be poverty-stricken and without any of those manifestations of holiness which win such admiration for other souls.  [...]
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In God's sight there can be nothing great in us, so that all that comes from us is very little.  In God's sight there can be nothing great in us - with one exception: our total receptivity to his will.  God knows how to make us holy, so let us leave the business to him and think no more about it.  All depends on the vigilant care and action of providence.  We are usually unaware of them and they often work in ways that are both unexpected and unpleasant to us.  Let us tranquilly perform all of our little duties and not look for great ones, for God does not give himself to us because of our efforts.  We shall become saints through his grace and by his providence.  He knows to what eminence he wishes to raise us.  
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Let us leave it to him.  Let us cease hankering after pointless systems of spirituality.  Let us be satisfied to love him ceaselessly and to walk with docility along the path he has marked out for us, where everything seems so trivial to us and to the world." - Abandonment to Divine Providence
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 Photo:  Moscow smog 2010.

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous1:21 PM

    I love this. Very "Little Way"-like. If it wasn't for a path that is "poverty-stricken and without any of those manifestations of holiness which win such admiration for other souls," I'd have no way at all.

    Thank you for posting this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for these excerpts - exactly the reminder I needed.

    ReplyDelete


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