I encourage you to read the quotes slowly and carefully, reflecting on what they mean and how you can absorb them into your own life.
Live according to your own nature; inwardly without restriction; outwardly in so far as external conditions permit.
One of the hardest things is to follow our own particular line of development, side by side with souls who have quite a different one; often one opposed to our own. It is natural for youth to hesitate between an attitude which it fears may be presumptuous and a candid admission of inferiority to everything around it. But this hesitation must cease or we will never grow up.
Still less must we look for approval and appreciation as a sign that we are on the right path.
We must therefore free ourselves absolutely of this anxious desire to be at one with other souls, however virtuous or wise they may be; just as we must never expect them to see things through our eyes. We must follow our own light as though we were alone in the world, save as regards to charity to others. In purely private matters, we must never be deflected from our own path.’
Therefore leave your soul to pray as suits it best, in its own way, without strain. Allow it most of the time to remain quiet, still. In a word, follow your bent.
For nothing is more individual to each soul than the form of its intimacy with our Lord. His earthly life revealed also that no two were intimate with Him in the same sort of way.
Observe the path you take instinctively at those times when you are most keenly aware of the real and intimate presence of our Lord. Realize that there lies your own particular grace.
We must follow our own path and not worry about the puddles into which we fall. The journey itself repairs the accidents into which it has led us. Tidy and timid travellers are never good travellers.
Between the extremes of foolhardiness and timidity, boldness is true wisdom.
A perfect childlike simplicity puts us at once into intimate relationship with God, without any hindrance. Let us try more and more to maintain in the depths of our souls the childlike simplicity and artlessness which our Lord asks and commands.
From every point of view we gain infinitely more by looking at our Lord, than by looking at ourselves. We shake off our faults more quickly and effectively when we adore our Lord than when we examine and criticize ourselves.
The soul gains very little from looking at itself. Such an occupation gives rise only to discouragement, preoccupation, distress, uncertainty, and illusion.
God asks only one thing—that you should be on close and friendly terms with Him, without fear; without ceremony.
Our Lord is our true and chief Director, who, without our knowledge, has arranged matters in such a way that our lives turn out quite differently from what we should have expected; infinitely better for our salvation and glory than we should ever have dared to hope.
Be bold enough always to believe that God is on your side and wholly yours, whatever you may think of yourself.
Think of this and say to yourself ‘I am loved by God more than I can either conceive or understand.’
Rejoice that you are what you are; for our Lord loves you very dearly. He loves the whole of you, just as you are.
Remember that it is our souls which are God’s joy; not on account of what they do for Him, but on account of what He does for them. All that He asks of them is to gladly accept his kindness, his generosity, his tolerance, his fatherly love.
Do not worry any more about what you are or are not. You are the object of His mercy. Be satisfied with that and think only of that.
The Mystery of grace which works in us is in a sense a copy of the Mystery of the Incarnation. By grace Jesus takes possession of our personality and fills it with His Divinity. He desires to make use of us by grace as he made use of His own nature in the Incarnation.
The intimacy of the soul with our Lord provides our true nourishment, our true home, however much circumstances change.
The root of many of our troubles is the desire to have only good inclinations. That is neither necessary nor possible. In countless ways we shall always feel ourselves to be wicked, unstable and unreasonable. We must realize that this is our nature and not our real personality; not our true, deliberate and voluntary desire; not the goal of our efforts. [Rom 7]
Far from your defects being charged against your soul and conscience, they are, before God, your defense, your justification and your glory.
What you need to realize is that a good state of soul can, in this world, go hand in hand with a feeling of deep inward disharmony, of confusion and cloudiness.
Do not fear things too much, for we often suffer more from the things we fear than from those which really come to pass. And what good does it do, seeing that when evils come, they bring with them strength to enable us to accept them; a strength which we do not have in advance.
Those words of his were certainly prophetic, written a century ago and still so applicable to us who are in his far future. And now a few questions from me for you: What words of grace and truth are you writing and speaking into the present and future? Will you take confidence that God can speak through you, too, and not just others who have more prominent positions and gifts? You are here for such as time as this.