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Letter V.—Profit to be gained by Patient Endurance.

You have reason to bless God, my dear Sister, for having preserved in your heart peace, gentleness, and charity for the person whose place it is to wait upon you. He has given you a great grace. Perhaps He may still allow that, either through ignorance, thoughtlessness, or even, if you will, out of caprice, or bad temper, she may give you occasion to practise patience. Then, Sister, try to profit well by these precious occasions which are so adapted to gain the heart of God. Alas! we offend this God of all goodness not only through ignorance and thoughtlessness, but deliberately and maliciously. We want Him to forgive us, and this He most mercifully does, and then we will not forgive others like ourselves. And we recite every day the prayer our Lord taught us, “Forgive us, Lord, as we forgive.” We must remember also the words of our God, telling us that He would act towards us as we act towards our neighbour; therefore we ought to bear with our neighbour, and to show him consideration, charity, gentleness and condescension; and God Who is faithful to His promises will treat us in like manner. I am enlarging on this subject a little because it will give you occasion to practise the greatest and most solid virtue every day; charity, patience, meekness, and humility of heart, benignity and the renunciation of your own ideas; and these little daily virtues faithfully practised will procure you a rich harvest of graces and merits for eternity. It is in this way better than in any other that you will be able to obtain the great gift of interior prayer, peace of mind, recollection, the continual presence of God, and His pure and perfect love. This simple cross borne patiently will draw down upon you an infinitude of graces, and will enable you more efficaciously to become detached from self than trials, in appearance much more grievous, and to attach yourself unreservedly to God.

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