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Letter VII.—Rules for Difficult Circumstances.

To the same person. On the same subject. Rules to be followed.

I own, my dear Sister, that there is nothing more difficult than to keep a perfect evenness of temper and an immovable patience amid domestic difficulties and intercourse with those persons of different character by whom we are surrounded. The constant friction makes it almost impossible for us not to forget ourselves occasionally; but if one falls one moment, one can rise immediately. To fall is a weakness, to rise, a virtue. If one loses hold on oneself it is but to gain a firmer hold without feeling annoyed, and little by little God gives all to those who know how to wait patiently. But you want everything with impetuosity and imagine you are going to become perfect at once. You must try to moderate by degrees the turbulence and agitation of these desires which clash with each other at the risk of being broken. However, if you cannot altogether prevent this collision you must try to endure it quietly and humbly, and not increase the misery uselessly by tormenting yourself because you are tormented. The difficulties that are caused you, and the injustice of certain people towards you are, I own, the most revolting thing in the world, my heart is troubled with only reading about it; but what other remedy is there than the one we have already made use of for the cure of many other ills?—to raise our eyes to heaven and to say, “Lord, it is Your will, You permit this to happen, I adore and I submit. May Your holy will be done. Your divine permission will help me to carry this cross in expiation of my sins, and to make me merit heaven. Fiat! fiat!”

If I knew a better remedy I would impart it to you, but as I am certain that this is the most efficacious you must excuse me trying to find others. I own that it is next to impossible not to give way on such occasions to some slight movements of impatience, revolt, and bitterness, at any rate, interiorly; but you must return as quickly as you can to God and to yourself by humbling yourself quietly without too much trouble, and asking earnestly of God the necessary patience.

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