In Conversation with God:
There can be no pact with our defect and errors, and we must make the effort to overcome them. We cannot ever ‘get used to’ the shortcomings and weaknesses which separate us from God and from others, on the excuse that they are part of our character…
Jesus asks us to persevere in the struggle, and to begin again as often as necessary, realising that it is in struggle that love grows. The Lord does not ask the paralytic in order to learn – this would be superfluous – but to make his patience known to all, for that invalid for thirty-eight years had hoped, without ceasing, to be freed from his illness.
The heart of constancy lies in love: only with love can one be patient…
This sorrow and reparation for our sins and shortcomings, are not useless moods of gloom, for they are sorrow and tears born of love… it is the sorrow of returning evil for good to one who so much loves us.
Do you not see how often painters will erase their sketches and at other times retouch them, when they are trying to portray a beautiful face? Don’t let the painter be one up on you. For if they make so much of an effort for a bodily image, how much greater reason do we have when we try to form the image of a soul…
- ascetic – characterized by or suggesting the practice of sever self-discipline and abstention from all forms of indulgence
- theophany – a visible manifestation to humankind of God