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THE MODEL RELIGIOUS OUGHT TO LIVE ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT AND NOT ACCORDING TO THE FLESH
The best sign that I am quite imperfect is this, that I could not understand this meditation at all. Neither could I apply it to myself, even though, as in previous meditations, I asked Jesus to help me recognize the evil which is in me. However, he completely withheld the grace of the Holy Spirit from me and I could not hear his voice at all.
You, O Lord, know better than I what my soul needs and what would be best for me. You know how proud I am; that the smallest thing, not only extraordinary graces, not only the experience of your love, but even, a facility in performing my spiritual exercises, a candor, an ability to speak about my anxieties, a means of turning to you are all opportunities for instantaneous conceit (because my will certainly does not have these leanings). If you did not grant me those special graces, I would have been led to perdition. It is very difficult for me to bear your abandonment of me, that lack of enlightenment, that inability to do good, that continuous recognition of my wretchedness, that constant interior battle that strange confusion which I cannot understand, that fear of every momentary thought, whether it might be sinful or not.
Only you know how all of this exhausts me. You see that I have no strength, that my heart will break from pain, and yet if you promise to help me with your grace, I prefer to bear all of this and remain humble, rather than be favored with the greatest graces, become proud and feel satisfied with myself.
I know, O Lord, that I am not humble because the smallest occasion convinces me of this. I do not even understand this virtue well; however, I hate pride; the slightest temptation to it disturbs me. I think that it is so difficult for me to make this meditation today because yesterday I haughtily thought of the few words which Father said to me about my Impressions. You, therefore, left me in this total darkness i order to humiliate me as well as to show me my ignorance and incapability. I had difficulty writing, and in fact, I had made up my mind not to write, even though I wanted Father to get to know me better since I might never have that opportunity again. This holding back might be a temptation. Forgive me Lord, should some imperfection or momentary vanity overtake me. I always think that this openness with Father will certainly be f benefit to me.
How I wish I could understand what it means to live according to the spirit. I must ask Father to enlighten me, because even though I have no idea how one can recognize it, I am convinced that I do not have the life of the spirit within me or for that matter very little of it. I feel that I lead a bestial, sensual life; that my body is not subject to my soul but vice versa that it subdues my soul; that I satisfy all my senses; that I do not discipline my body nor mortify myself; that I do not control my passions, instead, they control me.
When I am in a good mood, I am gentle and pleasant; when I am in a bad mood, I give in to anger and the slightest thing makes me impatient, even if there is no reason for it. When I am depressed I omit almost all my prayers. When laziness overcomes me, I omit the most important duties for which my conscience reproaches me that I will eventually have to give an account before God. When I am sad or anxious, I give in to despair and discouragement; I want to be ill and even deliberately endanger my health. I am all the more to blame because an interior voice keeps whispering to me to do just the opposite and tells me to behave differently; however, I do not obey this voice, which I am sure, is the voice of grace; instead, I listen to the voice of nature. Will I ever mend my ways? I find it so difficult to mortify myself and yet I know that it is the violent who lay hold of heaven. It is possible then that I have no right to it.