This morning I was thinking of St. Teresa of Avila, how she urged everyone else to pray - to practice mental prayer - although she had given it up. If she had a blog she probably would have blogged about ascetical-mystical theology, and yet she would have been entertaining herself privately with whatever interested her. You know, instead of being the contemplative everyone imagined her to be. Maybe she would have taken donations and fixed up her cell at the Incarnation, getting it wired for all her electronics and big screen TV. She might have added expensive lace to her wimple and outshone the richest nuns in the monastery.
Teresa eventually converted - Our Lord never gave up on her. He scared her with an ugly toad once...
Our Lord is kind and merciful.
This Easter season I've really been trying hard to put into practice the message of Divine Mercy. I fail every day. I take seriously the injunction to be merciful to others, to not judge from appearances - or even suspect something is off with my neighbor. I fail every day. To see the good in others, to think the best. I fail every day.
Did you know to be a martyr you have to love those who persecute you, those who kill you? You can't call them names and spew venom on them as they are killing you.
Did you know that to be merciful to others we have to love even those who abuse our kindness, those who take advantage of us? Those who mock us?
I fail every day.
I'm hoping it is better to fail and repent than it is to pretend I'm St Teresa...
I've read where good people say, usually in response to some evil they see in others, "I hope I'm better than that!"
I'm not. In justice, I can never say that.
I hope never to get myself entangled in that mindset - and if I do, I pray to be shown my misery and ask the Lord to descend into the depths of my misery and rescue me - save me - in his good time.
"In aridity and emptiness the soul becomes humble. Former pride disappears when a man no longer finds in himself anything that might cause him to look down on others." - Edith Stein