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ON SUFFERING


 


FAKE SPIRITUAL PROGRESS

Almost all who aim at serving God want to win, not to lose; to be comforted, not to suffer; to possess, not to be despoiled; to increase, not to diminish.

And yet, spiritual progress consists in losing, sacrificing, decreasing, humbling and stripping self even of God's own gifts, so as to be more wholly His.

We are often like a sick person who feels his pulse fifty times in the day, and wants the doctor to be perpetually ordering some new treatment, or telling us how much better we are. This is often what we want to hear from our spiritual directors.

Such souls move around petty and easy virtues, never tackling the ones that need a big heart and great generosity. While their spiritual directors are reduced into giving tidbits of encouragements and comforts, little sedative treatments that do not heal. 

The moment the emotional experience is gone, such souls feel all is lost. But this is a plain proof that satisfying the self is really their main goal. 

Privation, self-denial and suffering are the food of strong souls. This prepares a soul as a living sacrifice to God. But weak people are in despair at the first touch of privation. They are willing to let God do what He will with them, provided always it be something easy and will make them renown. But the notion of being crushed as a sacrifice to God has never entered their minds. They say they live by faith but depend on the world; they want to be as children but want to be great in their own eyes.

What a spiritual mirage this is.

 

 



(11-26-02)

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The Winnowing Fan hopes ..." to do what little it could to solve the evils that beset the church."

                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila

 


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