Monday, October 30, 2006
From: The Imitation of Mary
My Child, why do you complain about your state and situation? You say that in them you cannot serve the Lord as you ought? But heaven is filled with saints who became saints in circumstances like yours.
I found God in Egypt, to which I had to move, just as I had found Him in Judea, and I managed to serve Him as before.
If we can preserve the grace and friendship of God in a situation, then we ought to be content with it.
I found it very hard to leave Israel, as did my husband Joseph, but we felt no regret.
Again, when we were summoned back to our home, the only pleasure we felt was at doing the Lord's will, for that was at all times our only law.
My child, if you seek to do the heavenly Father's will and not your own and are content with the state in which He has placed you, you will desire nothing else.
God has blessed the way each person must travel toward sanctity, and you would err if you thought you could find holiness by chosing some other way.
No one can be holy without the help of grace. Now, God grants His grace to each person according as it is needed for th4e kind of life to which He calls him and the duties for which He destines him.
One who has withdrawn into solitude should not be saddened at having left the world behind, and one whose duty places him in the world should not say he cannot be saved there. The safest state for each is the one in which God has placed him.
Whatever the situation in which we find ourselves, our salvation depends on fidelity to grace.
John the Baptist found holiness in the banks of the Jordan, where God wanted him to stay. He did not seek to go elsewhere.
The kinf of life led by the Apostles who accompanied Jesus and received His teaching did not seem to them any less suitable than John's for reaching holiness.
No, your state is not of itself a barrier for holiness. For it is not the place nor the occupation that sanctifies a man; it is the man who must sanctify the place and the occupation.
We often turn our thoughts to some state other than the one in which we are. The reason, however, is not love of goodness, but our restlessness.
What gain would you have in changing? Would you be a better person? No: in changing your situation or condition you might change your mood, but not your character.
Wherever we go, our defects follow us. My child, what you must change is not your state or your duties but yourself.
Sanctify what you do in your present state by referring it all to God, and you will not have cause to complain that your duties are a source of distraction.
The many tasks required by the administration of a great kingdom did not prevent David from praying and from singing the Lord's praises seven times each day.
Numerous occupations did not prevent the saints from becoming saints; instead, they sanctified their occupations.
Holiness does not consist in serving God where and as you would like, but where and as He wishes.
You will glorify God more on a bed of pain if it be His will that you lie there, than if you were to wear yourself out with hard work in an effort to win souls to Him.
Worth quoting at length isn't it? I couldn't have stumbled upon this passage at a more appropriate hour. I am grateful for this guidance.