Do you remember the old story of a young man who stood with bent head on the headland of a large piece of ground which he had to cultivate? He was discouraged, and murmured: “I can never do it; it is too extensive.”
“It is too much”
“My son,” said his father, “you need not plough to-day all this field. Do you see that little corner marked by a slight ridge? That is your day’s work; only occupy yourself with that now.”
Let us apply these wise words to the hours which divide our day, and which are so many distinct portions of land that we have to plough, and so, and purchase heaven with their harvest.
Breaking it up
Why should we look in the morning at the long work of an entire day, which we think we cannot accomplish, and which our imagination fills with difficulties. Let us only look at the little space which God limits by each half hour, and let us only think of sowing well that little corner.
Is it too long? Let us limit ourselves still more, and look only on the work of each quarter of an hour at a time.
Who, then, can fail to accomplish perfectly for one quarter of an hour the duty which is prescribed him? or who is there that cannot bear for a quarter of an hour the troubles which God sends us drop by drop? practise patience, pray fervently, work with constancy for one quarter of an hour?
Each minute forms the mesh
Each minute forms the mesh which in the evening must make up a piece of cloth woven of the thousand-and-one duties of the day: “prayer, labour, rest, devotion, patience…”
One mesh is certainly but very little in a web, but the web is always more beautiful when each mesh is well done.
Doing things with love and properly
And if you, God’s workman, let one fall through indifference – and through spite you make another crooked; if through vanity you weave a third different from what the Master orders – what confusion is there when evening comes, and when God, surveying minute by minute “your woven day,” will see in it “vacant spaces, defects,” alas! perhaps “some bad designs…”
– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889