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
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.