Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity, besides loving God and serving Him alone. This is the highest wisdom: by despising the world to tend to heavenly kingdoms.
It is vanity to mind only this present life, and not to look forward to those things which are to come. It is vanity to love that which passeth with all speed, and not to hasten thither where everlasting joy remains. Often remember that proverb: The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing (Eccles. i, 8).
-Bk. I, ch. i.
Jesus, hidden in my poor little heart, has once again made me understand how hollow and empty are all passing things. To the astonishment of the Community I have been able to paint a little, write poetry, and do some good to souls. Just as Solomon said: I turned myself to all the works which my hands had wrought, and to the labours wherein I had laboured in vain, I saw in all things vanity and vexation of mind, and that nothing was lasting under the sun (Eccles. ii, 2), so have I learned by experience that there is no happiness on earth save in hiding oneself and remaining in ignorance of all created things. Without love, even the greatest works are as nothing. Instead of wounding my soul and doing me harm, God's gifts draw me closer to Him, for I see that He alone is unchanging and can satisfy my immense desires.
-The Story of a Soul (L'Histoire d'une Âme).
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Adapted from Just For Today(©1943 Burns & Oates)
Nihil Obstat: Reginaldus Phillips, S.T.L.,Censor deputatus
Imprimatur: Edwardus Myers, Vic. Cap.