Ave Maria Meditations
Your inconstancy ought not to alarm you, but inspire you to keep very near to him who is all your strength. He loves to see that we are making efforts to be pleasing to him, even when these efforts are not always as happy as we would have them. It is not an illusion to think that one has the desire to belong entirely to Our Lord, even when one has failings at the same time. Even if we happened to fail fifty times a day, we must still each time get back immediately to Our Lord and make acts of love. The desire to love is already an act of love.
To correct yourself of vanity, of the desire to please men, of self-consciousness, the best means is:
– To do everything directly to please God. The more you look at God, the less you will look at yourself;
– To thank God, he is the source of all good, for all the good you do, for your successes, etc.;
– Not to be astonished, nor troubled, when you happen to fall into imperfections, but to ask forgiveness and, immediately, sursum corda, lift up your heart …
Nothing is more fatal in the spiritual life than the thought that we can do anything good without Our Lord, and our self-love is so subtle, that unconsciously we attribute to ourselves the little good that we do, which spoils everything. Our Lord, out of love, leaves us sometimes to our wicked nature, and then we are frightened in seeing all the evil and the possibilities of evil hidden in us. It is not that we are worse than before, but Our Lord lets us see the depths of evil which grace had covered. During these moments, we should act in union with God’s designs, by humbling ourselves profoundly and throwing ourselves into God’s arms.
The devil tries to trouble you by his subtleties, so that you may cease to act well for fear of acting from vanity. We must never cease doing well for that reason, but quietly purify our intention. The best way is to unite it with Jesus Christ, and with his intentions, and if there is anything imperfect in your intentions this union with Jesus Christ will heal it.
Bl. Columba Marmion