Saturday, November 20, 2004

Not really a failure

"Be sure that, if you do what lies in your power
and prepare yourself for high contemplation
with the perfection aforementioned,
then, if He does not grant it you
(and I think He will not fail to do so
if you have true detachment and humility),
it will be because He has laid up this joy for you
so as to give it you in Heaven,
and because,
as I have said elsewhere,
He is pleased to treat you like people who are strong
and give you a cross to bear on earth
like that which His Majesty Himself always bore.

"What better sign of friendship is there
than for Him to give you what He gave Himself?
It might well be
that you would not have had so great a reward
from contemplation.

"His judgments are His own;
we must not meddle in them.
It is indeed a good thing that the choice is not ours;
for, if it were,
we should think it the more restful life
and all become great contemplatives.

"Oh, how much we gain
if we have no desire to gain what seems to us best
and so have no fear of losing,
since God never permits
a truly mortified person to lose anything
except when such loss will bring him greater gain!"
from The Way of Perfection, Chapter 17
by St. Teresa of Avila