I mentioned that the other day in response to a friend concerning the Little Brother of Jesus called to become rector of the Roman seminary - his obedience is typical of the charism of the order. Many are familiar with the Prayer of Blessed Charles:
I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me,
and in all your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.
That's how it goes.
It's good to always lose.
I forget that all the time. I attempt to do what is beyond my ability, outside the realm of my responsibility. It's good to be reminded of that. I did some painting yesterday, it was a rainy cold day, so I stayed inside. Later I came across my little book of consolation, and a holy card partially slipped out from a section it seemed Our Lady wanted me to read. (It was her image on the card, Our Lady of Confidence.) My eyes fell upon this:
"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. [...]" - de CaussadeWhat a consolation to find that section ... how often I need to return to it - especially in times of confusion, when I am confounded. Thus I spent some time last night and this morning reading and thinking about these things. It is a good reminder for me - a grace. As Therese used to say, 'to even rejoice in my weakness' - to be convinced of that once again, to love that - to love my misery and weakness and inability - ah, my disability. To be found out.
Poor souls who are so scorned by others despise themselves just as much as the others do. Yes!
Section 7 - Conviction of Weakness.
The soul in the state of abandonment can abstain from justifying itself by word or deed. The divine action justifies it.
This order of the divine will is the solid and firm rock on which the submissive soul reposes, sheltered from change and tempest. It is continually present under the veil of crosses; and of the most ordinary actions. Behind this veil the hand of God is hidden to sustain and to support those who abandon themselves entirely to Him.
From the time that a soul becomes firmly established in abandonment, it will be protected from the opposition of talkers, for it need not ever say or do anything in self-defense. Since the work is of God, justification must never be sought elsewhere. Its effects and its consequences are justification enough. There is nothing but to let it develop "Dies diei eructat verbum"; "Day to day uttereth speech" (Ps xviii. 3). When one is no longer guided by reflection, words must no longer be used in self-defense. Our words can only express our thoughts; where no ideas are supposed to exist, words cannot be used. Of what use would they be? To give a satisfactory explanation of our conduct? But we cannot explain that of which we know nothing for it is hidden in the principle of our actions, and we have experienced nothing but an impression, and that in an ineffable manner. We must, therefore, let the results justify their principles.
All the links of this divine chain remain firm and solid, and the reason of that which precedes as cause is seen in that which follows as effect. It is no longer a life of dreams, a life of imaginations, a life of a multiplicity of words. The soul is no longer occupied with these things, nor nourished and maintained in this way; they are no longer of any avail, and afford no support.
The soul no longer sees where it is going, nor foresees where it will go; reflections no longer help it to gain courage to endure fatigue, and to sustain the hardships of the way. All this is swept aside by an interior conviction of weakness. The road widens as it advances; it has started, and goes on without hesitation. Being perfectly simple and straightforward, it follows the path of God's commandments quietly, relying on God Himself whom it finds at every step, and God, whom it seeks above all things, takes upon Himself to manifest His presence in such a way as to avenge it on its unjust detractors. - Abandonment to Divine Providence
Song for this post here.