Saturday, October 01, 2011

Thoughts on the 'little way'.



"Never allow yourself to pour out your heart, even if it be for the space of a creed." - John of the Cross
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Frequently, we ourselves can be the cause of most of our suffering when it comes to our interaction with others.  We sometimes lack discretion.  Or maybe just I do.
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I've tired myself out by writing about what no one asked my opinion on in the first place, while meddling in the affairs of others.  Hence I've been pondering Therese's gentle rebuke to Celine, as if she could be counselling me:  "It is not for you to be a justice of the peace", remarked the Saint cleverly.  "Only God has that right."  Therese went on to explain to Celine that nothing is lost however since we can embrace our faults and failings in humble acceptance that we are indeed little souls, weak and imperfect.  She made it clear to Celine that it is this awareness, this condition, which attracts the divine mercy to ourselves.
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Celine wrote: "She wished, moreover, that I would come so far as to desire that others would notice my faults so that they would scorn me and always judge me to be a religious without virtue."  This was very difficult for Celine to accept, just as it is for someone as irreligious as myself.   Paradoxically, another counsel from John of the Cross comes to the aid of those of us who find that disposition of soul nearly impossible to acquire, or worse, attribute such virtue to themselves as a sort of 'spiritual consolation prize' to justify oneself.  St. John writes:
"Take neither great not little notice of who is with you or against you and try always to please God.  Ask him that his will be done in you.  Love him intensely, as he deserves to be loved."    
Happy feast day to all.  (Today is also First Saturday.)

1 comment:

  1. It doesn't look like you are making excuses for yourself. If we were all expected to be performing rigorous penances and engaging in contemplative prayer several hours a day, heaven's gonna be a lot less crowded than otherwise.

    Besides, nothing makes me cringe more than hearing / reading someone say "I've reached a pretty high level of perfection" ... the irony is palpable.

    By the way, when St. John of the Cross says "great nor little notice", is he saying not too much, but not too little either - or is he trying to say do not give a crap at all.

    I am so sorry, Terry - I cannot understand contemplative religious spiritual writing. All I ever get is that if I like anything at all that is not God, I'm ripe for perdition. Even innocent pleasures, interests, and love of family and friends is nothing but vanity and distraction, especially if that includes a desire to marry.

    God help us all.

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