Words of St. Therese
A certain member of the community had a way of annoying me by everything she did; the devil must have had a finger in this, by making me see only her unpleasant side. But I would not give way to my antipathy. I knew that charity is not merely a matter of feelings, but must be proved by deeds, so I set myself to do for her what I would do for a person most dear to me.
Every time I met her I prayed for her, offering up her virtue and merits to God. I knew this pleased Our Lord, for what artist is there who does not like to have his work praised? The divine Artist of souls is pleased when we do not stop at the exterior, but penetrate to the hidden sanctuary which He has chosen for a dwelling place, and we admire its beauty.
I not only prayed much for the one who caused me so much struggle, but I tried to be of service to her. When tempted to give her a disagreeable answer, I gave her instead a sweet smile, and tried to turn the conversation, for it is written in the Imitation of Christ: “It is more profitable to leave everyone their own way of thinking, than to give way to contentious discourse.”
Jesus, Son of Man, we need Your healing touch. There are painful areas of social relationships which cripple us; relationships which have left us frightened, caused us to withdraw within ourselves, or erect barriers to others; times of feeling lonely, abandoned, rejected, disconnected, and unloved; times of being critical and making rash judgments about others; of feeling superior to others; of feeling insignificant; of being abused emotionally, verbally or physically by others, especially those we love or w hose affirmation we need.
We can easily demean, diminish and destroy others with looks, judgments, words or silence, because we do not reverence them as sanctuaries where You dwell. Free us to love and appreciate those we find most difficult to love. Heal the insecurity and darkness within us, Good Jesus, so that God’s goodness, vision and judgment may shine through us.
We ask You this, through the intercession of St. Therese, who teaches us confidence and trust in Your love.