Tuesday, 17 March 2009
Living in the real world
From the Devout Life today. Some words I could do with following!
I do not approve at all of a person, who is occupied in some duty or calling, wasting time in desiring some other kind of life than that which is suited to his duty, or practices incompatible with his present condition in life; for this fritters away the energies of the heart and makes it weak in carrying out necessary excercises. If I desire the solitude of the Carthusians I waste my time, and this desire takes the place of the desire which I ought to have to imploy myself well in my present office. No, I would not even wish anyone to desire to have greater talent or a better judgement, for these desires are vain and take the place of the desire which each one should have to cultivate his own talent, such as it is; nor would I desire anyone desire means of serving God which he has not, but I would have him make a good use of those which he has. Now this applies to those desires that occupy the heart; for as to simple wishes, they do no harm at all, provided that they be not frequent.
Do not desire crosses, save in proportion to the measure wherewith you have borne those that have already been sent to you; for it is an illusion to desire martyrdom, and not to have the courage to bear an injury. The enemy often suggests to us ardent desires for things that are absent and that will never come to pass, in order to divert our minds from objects that are present, and from which, however little they may be, we might derive great profit. We might fight the monsters of Africa in imagination, and from lack of attention we allow ourselves in reality to be killed by the little serpents that lie in our way. Do not desire temptations, for that would be rashness; but occupy your heart in awaiting them courageously, and in defending yourself from them when they come.
Now back to my essay!