Bearing with Oneself

A soul to which God has revealed its shortcomings is far more of a burden to itself than its neighbour can be.  For, however near he be, that neighbour is not always by our side, while in no case is he within us.  We are our own burden, on the other hand; we cannot escape ourselves for a single moment, nor lose ourselves from sight and feeling, nor cease from trailing everywhere we go our imperfections and our failings.  The supreme manifestation of God’s infinite goodness lies in the fact that the sorrow and the shame these failings cause us, cure us of them, always provided that the shame does not become vexation and that the sorrow is inspired by love of God and not by self-love. Sorrow born of self-love is full of perturbation and bitterness: far from healing our soul’s wounds it serves only to pour poison into them. On the contrary, sorrow springing from love of God is serene and full of abandonment. While it abhors the fault, it delights in the humiliation which is its sequel: as a consequence it gives all the credit to the humiliation, thus making loss itself an opportunity for gain. -from Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence, pg. 188-189 (emphasis mine)

When we practice patience with our faults, not only do we gain peace, but humility as well. Knowing that we fall far from God’s perfect nature, knowing that we are mere creatures of the most high God should release us from the burden to be flawless. As with any virtue, patience is a habit that we must practice. Reflecting on God’s gentleness and mercy can help us to be patient with ourselves.  For if God, who never makes mistakes, is patient with our faults, who are we to do any less?

No longer, then, torment yourself on account of your failings and of the imperfection of your works.  Make God an offering of the sorrow that imperfection brings you, and allow his merciful Providence to redeem these small infidelities by small afflictions and troubles of every kind.  Let patience be your one weapon; after a fall pick yourself up as speedily as possible, lamenting the tumble only with meek and tranquil humility. God wills it thus. Moreover, by such unwearied patience, you render him more glory and yourself make more progress than you could ever do by the most violent effort. -from Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence, pg. 189 (emphasis mine)

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  1. Distinguishing What is God’s from What is Ours « Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence

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