Nature has regard to temporal things, rejoices at earthly gain, is troubled at losses, and is provoked at every slight injurious word: but grace attends to things eternal, and cleaves not to those which pass with time; neither is she disturbed at the loss of things, nor exasperated with hard words, for she places her treasure and her joy in heaven, where nothing is lost.
-Bk. III, ch. liv.
Our Lord does not wish me to claim what is mine: I should take this as a matter of course, for nothing really belongs to me, and I ought to be glad to feel poverty because of the solemn vow I have taken. I used to think I was detached from everything, but now that Our Lord's words have been made so clear to me, I see how imperfect I am. If, for instance, I sit down to paint and find the paint brushes in disorder, or that the ruler or pen-knife have disappeared, I am sorely tempted to give way to impatience, and I have to hold myself back from calling out sharply for the missing articles.
I may certainly ask for what I need; if I do it humbly, I am not disobeying Our Lord. On the contrary, I am acting like a beggar who stretches out his hand and does not take it amiss if he is refused an alms, for he has no rights. Oh! what peace fills the soul that rises above mere natural feelings! There is no joy like that felt by the truly poor in spirit. If in a spirit of detachment she asks for what she needs, and not only meets with a refusal, but must give up what she has, she is only following Our Lord's counsel: If a man contend with thee in judgement, and take away thy coat, let go thy cloak also unto him (Matt. v, 40).
-The Story of a Soul (L'Histoire d'une Âme).
For more information, see this post.
Adapted from Just For Today(©1943 Burns & Oates)
Nihil Obstat: Reginaldus Phillips, S.T.L.,Censor deputatus
Imprimatur: Edwardus Myers, Vic. Cap.