Two very important lessons to heed in these tidbits from Father Lasance:
From My Prayer Book
There is a word which can not be said too often to every Christian whom God has destined to live, converse, and labor in the society of his fellow-creatures: Be indulgent. Yes, be indulgent; it is necessary for others, and it is necessary for your own sake.
Forget the little troubles that others may cause you; keep up no resentment for the inconsiderate or unfavorable words that may have been said about you; excuse the mistakes and awkward blunders of which you are the victim; always make out good intentions for those who have done you any wrong by imprudent acts of speeches; in a word, smile at everything, show a pleasant face on all occasions, maintain an inexhaustible fund of goodness, patience, and gentleness.
Thus you will be at peace with all your brethren; your love for them will suffer no alteration, and their love for you will increase day by day. But above all, you will practice in an excellent manner Christian charity, which is impossible without this toleration and indulgence at every instant. -Russell, The Art of Being Happy
Let us take heed of the habits, tastes, and even the little hobbies of those around us, in order not to cross them in anything, especially our superiors and our kinsfolk.
There are a thousand minute details of manner and conduct, insignificant in themselves no doubt, but to which some, especially old people and nervous people, attach so much importance that a slight negligence with regard to one of these little points puts them in bad humor for a whole day.
There is question, for instance, of shutting a door, of making a little too much noise going upstairs, of being punctual to some appointment, of playing one game rather than another, of listening to a story that we have heard a hundred times before.
A thoughtless or overbearing person will despise such petty matters as mere trifles, and, in despising them, will spoil all the comfort of some one perhaps to whom he owes gratitude and respect.
A more pliant and more amiable Christian will, for virtue’s sake, submit to what is required of him, his fellow-creatures; and he will himself enjoy that sweet satisfaction which charity secures for us when it is joined to humility.
Be of Good Cheer!
“Be of good cheer!” “Be of good heart!” “Have confidence!” “Fear ye not!” So said Our Lord on various occasions.
And the Apostle admonishes us not to be anxious about our affairs, but to trust in the loving kindness of God, “Casting all your care upon Him; for He hath care of you” (1 Peter v.7).
Don’t brood over what is past; forget it!
Be not too eager and anxious in the present.
Do your best; leave the rest to God, your good Father in heaven; keep your peace.
Don’t worry about the future. What is the use of doing so? When you see trouble, blessing may really be in store for you. Hope for the best. Accept what happens philosophically. Always act with a pure intention and with deliberation.
The author of “The Art of Being Happy” says:
“A great secret for preserving peace of heart is to do nothing with over eagerness, but to act always calmly without trouble or disquiet. We are not asked to do much, but to do well.
At the Last Day God will not examine if we have performed a multitude of works, but if we have sanctified our souls in doing them. Now the means of sanctifying ourselves is to do everything for God and to do perfectly whatever we have to do.
The works that have as their motive vanity or selfishness make us neither better nor happier, and we shall receive no reward for them.”
Cultivate a cheerful temper. Says the Wise Man in the Book Proverbs: “A joyful mind maketh age flourish: a sorrowful spirit drieth up the bones” (Prov. xvii.22).
Look at the bright side of things.
“Two men looked out through their prison bars;
The one saw mud, and the other stars.” – Stevenson
“A poet,” writes Father Russell, “was gazing one day at a beautiful rose-tree, ‘What a pity’, said he, ‘that these roses have thorns!’
A man who was passing by said to him: ‘Let us rather thank our good God for having allowed these thorns to have roses.’
Ah! how ought we also to thank Him for so many joys that He grants to us in spite of our sins, instead of complaining about the slight troubles that He sends us!”
-St. John of the Cross
As Sr. Lucia of Fatima said this is a time of diabolical disorientation. We find an amazing type or image of this in the life of St. John of the Cross. To conquer this inversion, as St. John did, we must remain firm and steadfast in our faith and employ the power of the Most Holy Trinity in casting the devil out of our lives. This is always done through the making of the Sign of the Cross.
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