A Year with the Saints – 22 May


If one wishes to acquire liberty of spirit, and not always walk in darkness, he should feel no trouble in regard to aridities, disquiets, distractions, or involuntary thoughts. Saint Teresa of Avila

The Saint just mentioned practiced this herself. What vexations and trials, internal and external, from her Religious and from others, and from Satan himself, had she not to suffer in her life! Yet, in so many and various adversities, she maintained herself always firm and immovable, like a rock beaten by the waves of the sea, without taking any of these things to heart. In this way she enjoyed a freedom of spirit little less than angelic.

We read the same of Saint Francis de Sales, who was never disquieted by whatever happened to him, however adverse it might be. To a lady who had asked his advice upon this subject, he wrote thus: “You would prefer to see yourself without defects and without temptations, rather than in the midst of imperfections and afflictions. I would like it too, and we shall be so in Paradise. But the disquiet which you feel at not being able to arrive at this state of perfection in this life makes you doubt whether your hatred of sin be good. No, it is not pure, for it disquiets you. Hate your imperfections, then, because they are imperfections, but love them because they make you know your nothingness and give to you an opportunity to exercise yourself in virtue, and to God to show His mercy towards you.”

MLA Citation