27 August 2009

Let God Do the Rest

I hope you're not tired of me sharing so many thoughts from St. Francis de Sales...I am finding his wisdom and gentleness to be like medicine and food for my heart these days. It has been a strange and difficult summer, a very arid and empty season, and I find myself clinging to the truth with my mind even though inside I feel only aching, or nothing at all.

Sometimes it seems like the best thing I have going for me is a stubborn persistence. I echo Jacob's words over and over: "I will not let you go unless you bless me.... I will not let you go unless you bless me... I will not let you go..."

Then I go and read St. Francis, and his words seem like they were written only for me.

The biggest mistake that most of us make about God,

the one that most consistently undermines the peace of our soul,
is the idea that God demands a lot of us,
more than a fragile being like ourselves could ever give.

Such a God is frightening.

But God in reality is content with the little we can give,
because God knows -- and accepts -- the little that we have.

We need to do just three things:

Do the best we can to find and honor God in everything we do.

Do whatever-- however little-- we can to live this way.

Let God do the rest.

If we follow these simple rules, we will possess God.
And possessing God we will not be disturbed,
we will not be anxious,
for we will have no need to fear a God who never asks of us
more than we can give.

St. Francis de Sales


Anne said...

"He never asks for more than we can give" I love that! I finally picked up Intro. to the Devout Life yesterday, can't wait to start it! Your summer sounds a lot like mine, I'm really very thankful that it's over-maybe I should put that on my praise post this Sunday! :)

carmelitemom said...

Sounds like my summer too! What a wonderful treasure that book is! This was a beautiful reflection...thank you.

SQUELLY said...

Not tired at all!!!! I love them - thank you!

Sarah - Kala said...

It's a great book! You'll revisit it often, I think.
I always tell people to "hang on like Jacob" when they need God to bless them. Of course, we must be careful what we ask for (as in the story of King Hezzekaiah - he asked to live and God granted him more time in which he had another son who was a bad seed).

That's why I always say, "Lord, you know what I'm asking for, but I don't . . . so I'm going to trust You with these things."

Mary333 said...

Who could ever get tired of truth? I have this book, it's awesome!

regan said...

jennifer, i know this feeling all too well and i just read something really beautiful in st. augustine's writings about how God cares so much about each of us-that He has some verse in Holy Scripture especially for particular people. The Holy Spirit intended a PRIMARY meaning, but He also intended the special and varied aspects of truth that many individuals would see in certain passages. and i think that this belief of his (st. augustine)also gives an insight into his overwhelming sense of Divine Providence.
how wonderful it is that there is this GREAT GOD, Who is outside of time and space, yet from the beginning He thought about and cared how we feel and has provided sustenence and comfort right when we need(ed) it!
hang in there.
spiritual dryness is something i experience quite a bit. just pray that HE will quench your thirst...for HIM.

NC Sue said...

I was introduced to St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal about 3 years ago and have connected with the Salesian family through the St. Francis de Sales Association, laity who aspire to live according to the model of Francis and Jane. The more I learn, the more I want to know. There is much wisdom and peace to be found in his books and letters. I hadn't run across that particular quote before, but how beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing it!!!

~ Judy ~ said...

WOW!!!!!! This is an AWESOME post Jennifer!!!!! THANK YOU! I think I've told you before that I absolutely LOVE St Francis DeSales...he gets me through life:)
Usually we hear "God never gives us more than we can handle"...I've always disagreed with that for I feel that I am not able to handle MOST of what He gives me...but IN HIM...and because He makes up where I lack...I am graced to handle things. "God never asks more than we can give"...I really really LOVE that...it is SO beautiful.
If you scroll about 2/3 way down this page
You will find a title: Aridity: A True Blessing in Disguise
It is a meditation written by my dear brother...a 3rd Order Secular Discalced Carmelite...I think perhaps in light of how you describe your recent spiritual state...that you would very much enjoy reading it.
I also liked what your visitor Regan said about God placing specific passages in Scripture for each of us...what a wonderful thought!


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