The Holy Spirit, out of compassion for our weakness, comes to us even when we are impure. And if He only finds our intellect truly praying to Him, He enters it and puts to flight the whole array of thoughts and ideas circling within it, and He arouses it to a longing for spiritual prayer.
Wisdom is proclaiming the truth and making the heart listen, and when it is doing this all the time, where can the heart go to oppose the truth that comes from wisdom?
* This excerpt is from “The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton”
“And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly on [Stephen], saw his face as it had been an angel.” (Acts 6:15)
O rare thing: it was in the midst of dispute, in the heat of an argument, that Stephen’s face was transfigured and became angelic, even to the eyes of his opponents. Alas! How many times does argument produce an opposite effect even on those who believe they are defending a good cause! Whether it is in a council, an assembly of theologians or a simple private discussion, it happens that he who is ‘right’ and who perhaps believes he is serving God, loses all love? From that moment on, he is only fighting for himself. His words conceal a subtle dishonesty of which he is not aware. My child, when you contradict the opinion of another man, think of God’s servant Stephen’s face, shining like that of an angel, in the midst of the council. Because love was in his heart, Stephen bore true witness to God.
* This excerpt is from a “Sunday Letter” by Fr. Leo (Lev) Gillet
Oftentimes we are quite unconscious how interiorly blind we are.
We often do amiss, and do worse in excusing ourselves.
Sometimes we are moved by passion, and think it zeal.
We blame little things in others, and overlook great things in ourselves.
We are quick enough in perceiving and weighing what we bear from others; but we think little of what others have to bear from us.
He that should well and justly weigh his own doings would find little cause to judge harshly of another.
* This excerpt is from “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas à Kempis
A Christian should avoid unhealthy religiosity: both the feeling of superiority due to virtue, and the feeling of inferiority due to sinfulness. One thing is it to have a complex and another, humility; one thing depression and another, repentance.