Poor mother! poor wife!
Poor mother! poor wife! go and prostrate yourself before the Blessed Sacrament and tell the good God, or even in the privacy of your own chamber, tell Him all that you dare not say to him whom you love, and who causes you so much suffering.
Bear the sick soul into the presence of Jesus, as formerly they carried the paralytic, who could not, perhaps “would not” drag himself thither.
Soften the anger God feels towards him, as you would appease the anger of an earthly master on whom depended his temporal prosperity, beseech our Lord simply to “bear with him a little longer.”
Ask Him what you must say
Confide to the good God alone all your anxieties, your discouragements, and the means which you employ in order to succeed. Ask Him what you must do, what you must say. A word suggested by Him during prayer is more efficacious for the conversion of a soul than all human contrivances.
Such a word will escape us unconsciously; we may not know when we have said it, but it will work its way into the soul, and, having taken root there, will silently do its work.
It will silently do its work
You are at times astonished to see such little results after so many years! Ah! you do not know how to consider it… Do you know what you have obtained for the poor, erring soul?
The results of your prayers up to this point
In the first place you have obtained “time”, and very often a “physical impossibility of sinning”, which causes annoyance and is attributed to chance, but it is Providence that has brought it about. And is one sin less in a lifetime nothing?
A physical impossibility of sinning
“A vague uneasiness” which destroys repose. “An involuntary confidence” which permits you to enter into that soul. “A greater liberty is permitted to your pious influence;” your pious practices no longer are met with “a smile of disdain”. Is all this nothing?
If only you could see the struggles in the soul you are praying for!
Ah! if while on your knees in your chamber, praying for that soul which you wish to win to God, you could see what passes therein – the struggles it has to sustain, the remorse which it seeks to stifle; if you could witness the operations of God which gently and firmly seek to triumph over his will, without, however, forcing it – how fervently would you not continue to pray!
In such an hour as this you command, and God works for you.
Refrain from being exacting
Have patience to wait, and perseverance sufficient to prevent your growing weary.
Even God finds the conversion of a stubborn soul, in one sense, not an easy thing.
It is because she does not know how to “wait” that the pious woman is often exacting towards the soul which she wishes to reclaim.
“The more haste we make,” says a wise man, “the less do we progress;” the more we try to exact, the more we expose ourselves to refusal. Men like to move apparently without restraint and have themselves the merit of their virtues.
It is because she does not know how to “persevere” that the work always seems as if it were commenced anew.
Courage, then! The cultivation of the ground is very difficult, but each prayer offered to God is like a drop of dew. The marble is very hard, but each prayer is a cut of the chisel which shapes it by slow degrees.
– From: Golden Grains, A Collection of Little Counsels for the Sanctification and Happiness of Every-Day Life, Eighth Edition, M.H. Gill and Son, Dublin 1889