Ave Maria Meditations
A note to a spiritual directee who is despondent:
I noticed the tone of despondency in your letter, a yielding to that commonest of all the evil suggestions of the tempter. What is the use of all the struggling without any results and so much prayer followed by no apparent improvement? It is a very clever temptation, and a successful one with most souls, resulting in the giving up of the very things which are slowly but surely making them saints.
If only one could grasp this fact: every tiny thing, such as an aspiration, self denial, etc., makes us holier than we were. Just think of the thousands of tiny things done each day for God. For example each step we take when all is done for Him, every one of them has added to our merit, making us more pleasing in His site, and each moment holier.
No one can see this gradual spiritual growth, but sometimes when we have gained a big victory, we wondered where the strength came from to do it. I have watched your steady progress in perfection with the greatest joy and gratitude for your generosity and so I want to warn you not to listen to such a suggestion that your efforts have been in vain.
Your biggest fault at present, my child, is that you have not yet completely bent your will to God’s designs. I think it would please help immensely to have no wishes of our own, apart from holy ones, so that He could bend and twist and fashion us just as He pleases, knowing well that we will not even murmur. Remember this does not mean that our feelings will die also.
+Fr. Willie Doyle, S.J.