Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Do not be afraid- It is I, Jesus

Recently, I've been reading a lovely little book called "I Believe in Love" by Pere Jean du Coeur de Jesus D'Elbee.  He features St. Therese's philosophy of the "Little Way" by applying it practically to the day-to-day struggles we face.  Today, when I opened the book, I did so randomly, and came across the chapter on Abandonment.  It was as if God was directly speaking to my soul.

Yesterday, Violet and I had a long discussion on how we both felt the need to "step it up" a bit in our spiritual lives.  And how, often in our lives, we get bogged down with worries and fears, and the "what ifs" of the future.  The chapter I read this morning was so inspirational to me, I thought I would share it with our readers.  I hope you find as much wisdom and comfort in these words, as I did.

"Practically speaking, of what does abandonment consist?  It consists of seeing the will of God in all that creatures and events present to you; it is, according to St. Francis de Sales, to be found in a disposition to ask nothing and to refuse nothing.  Obviously we must reason and judge.  We must foresee, make our plans, and act as if all depended on us.  I insist upon this because abandonment is neither quietism nor fatalism.  If you have a problem to resolve, you must inform yourself, get to know well the given aspects of the problem, study them, seek the best solution and follow it.  If you are sick, you must call the doctor and follow his prescriptions.  In order that no one shall have anything for which to reproach you, you must at least be in total good will.

We must devote ourselves to doing all we have to do, with the greatest fidelity, the greatest generosity,   notwithstanding, of course, all our weakness, for we can never say, "I have done all I could."  Who can say this besides Mary?  We always could have done more.  But finally, our task is to have worked with our good will, in spite of our state of misery, without ever forgetting besides, that Jesus is there to carry us.  Then, having acted this way with him, we must never worry over the results.  If he wills an apparent failure-I say apparent, for a failure will ed by God is not a real failure--all is well.  "Thank you Jesus."

If he destroys my little plans, I kiss his adorable hand.  It is because he wants to realize his own, which are more beautiful anyway than those which I could have made myself.  If he permits a very beautiful success, "Thank you again." ......Jesus always has his victory when he has your abandonment.  He needs nothing more than that to bring about the divine wonders that His heart has prepared for you from all eternity.  What spoils everything, what paralyzes him in his providential action on us, is not material difficulties.  What can be a material difficulty for him who created heaven and earth?  Not his enemies.  He will reign despite his enemies.  What makes things difficult for him is lack of faith and abandonment on the part of those who call themselves his friends and who ought to be his faithful instruments. We thwart his plans by imposing our own views, our little plans to which we hold so tightly.  And, quite often, why do we do it?  Through fear of a cross, fear of humiliation, thirst for enjoyment, earthly ambition and above all, lack of confidence.

"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they labor not, neither do they spin.  But I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. ...How much you, o ye of little faith?  (Mt 6:25)

"Seek first the kingdom of God and his justice and all the rest shall be added unto you."  This is what we do not do.  We do not seek first the kingdom of God.  We seek first our advantage, our interest...whatever it is.  And Jesus turns away.  In any case there will be failures, contradictions, very difficult moments and sometimes very distressing ones.  But if there is, on our part, this total confidence which we ought to have in Jesus, he will take care of everything.  He will bring good out of evil and even, as I have already told you, a greater good than if there had been no evil' and the trial will have been an immense good for us.  Yes, do everything as if it all depended on you, and leave the result to the Divine Master on whom everything really depends.

"....the moment you realize you are worrying, make very quickly an act of confidence: "No, Jesus, I know you are there.  Nothing, nothing happens without your permission.  I have no right to worry."  Perhaps he is sleeping in the boat, but he is there.  He is always there.  He is all-powerful; nothing escapes his vigilance.  He watches over each one of us as "the apple of his eye." (Dt 32:10)  He is all love, all tenderness.  It is really an offense against him if we worry voluntarily about anything.  That is what causes him pain.  That is what wounds his heart more than anything else."

If you are suffering, I will suffer with you;
If you are lonely, I will comfort you;
If your cross is heavy. I will carry it with you.

"Do not be afraid.  It is I, Jesus." (Mt 14:27)

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