A Year with the Saints – 31 May

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One great means of preserving a constant peace and tranquillity of heart is to receive all things as coming from the hands of God, whatever they may be, and in whatever way they may come. – Saint Dorotheus

Saint Catherine of Siena once asked the Lord the way to obtain true peace of heart, and He answered: “It is to believe that all that happens in the world comes by the order and disposal of God, and that He never makes anything happen to anyone that is not best for him.”

It is told of Saint Macarius that he was never seen angry or melancholy, but that he always appeared cheerful and possessed of a heavenly gaiety. The cause of this was that he received all that happened to him as coming from the hands of God. Severus Sulpicius, who spent much time with Saint Martin, says the same of him.

When the servants of David wished to avenge him upon Semei, “No,” he said, “for it is God who has commanded him to curse me; and who shall ask Him why He does it?”

Saint Francis de Sales was once shamefully abused by a certain gentleman, in presence of a Religious, who was so amazed at his patience that he took the first opportunity of asking him how he could bear so many insults with so much tranquillity. “Do you not perceive,” he replied, “that God has forseen from all eternity the grace He would bestow on me, that I might bear these reproaches willingly? And would you not have me drink this chalice, which has been prepared for me by the hands of so good a Father.”

“I never,” said an illuminated soul, “had fully understood this truth, so often repeated again and again, that not a hair falls from our heads without the will of our Heavenly Father. To understand this clearly and fully makes the soul a sharer in celestial joys while still on earth, and the cross which was before a hell, becomes for her a paradise. All this is because she tastes the marvelous sweetness that lies hidden for pure souls in a command of God. And it is enough that anything should be His command, to cause her to find in it peace and tranquillity.”

We read of the venerable Mother Seraphina that in any trial or misfortune that happened to her, all she did was to praise and bless God. She often said: “God is our Father, and whatever He does, all is for our advantage. If this had not been for our good, it would not have happened.” News was once brought to her that a ship loaded with provisions purchased in Salerno for her convent had been wrecked. She immediately took her daughters with her to the chapel, and there she praised and thanked the Lord for this act of His providence; and she said that it was as pleasing to her as if she had done it with her own hands and by her own choice, nay much more so as it had been done by the hand of God.

MLA Citation