When I am so convinced about some negative aspect of another’s life, I am sometimes inclined to detest them and to stay away from them.
Then I must stop to contemplate your love for me. Why do you love me, Lord, when I feel disdain and disgust for my brothers and sisters?
Give me the courage to see things as you see them, Lord, and to love unconditionally. Only then will true communion be realized.
Often, behind a facade of courtesy and attentiveness there exists a hidden dissension, which weakens communion and renders it insincere.
Lord, you are infinite patience.
You are limitless understanding.
Your love is eternal." - Venerable Francis Xavier Nguyên Văn Thuân
I think it is true that saints find us, and choose us, or at least are sent to us by Divine Providence. I was looking through my book shelves for something when I noticed Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan's book The Road to Hope. I have had it for at least 12 years and never read it, when I saw it, I thought I should read it. Then on Friday the above meditation from Magnificat popped up, and really spoke to my heart. Last night I retrieved the book, remembering how I used to buy every new book someone recommended or I thought would be a good guide for the spiritual life. I'd read them and go on to the next book, only for the books to land on a shelf. This is why now, at my age, I usually ignore recommendations about this new author whose insights are a sort of cure-all for what bothers me, or can shed light on the evil in the Church. After all, how many books can one read? I did that years ago with St. Therese, I collected and read everything that she ever wrote, as well as so many authors who wrote about her, but I found out that her simple writing - all by itself - was enough to know her and understand her.
I keep the Imitation close, and the Bible closer, and reference my Carmelite Doctors when necessary, but that's about it. Although it looks as if Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan will be close to me for awhile now as well. His love of the Church is deeply encouraging. He could never find it in himself to attack the Holy Father in the way critics do today. Never.
"An apostle respects higher authority even when he or she could show the authority that a mandate is unsuitable. In the presence of others, an apostle always treats a superior with respect. Disobedience and duplicity are inexcusable." - Francis Xavier Nguyên Văn Thuân