THE PROVISIONS OF THE SOUL
A pious soul wrote on a piece of paper, which she kept in a book that she used very frequently, a selection of choice thoughts to which she gave the ingenious title: My provisions.
In the hours when her courage and her will failed under the fatigue of work, the weariness of monotony, the discouragement of deception, she unfolded her little leaf and fortified herself. She then quietly resumed her work under the influence of the impression they had made on her.
“If you knew,” she added, “how happy I feel in having always at my disposition a little strength for my soul and a little love for my heart, so often discouraged. The words on my leaflet supply me with both … I placed them, from the moment they were written, near the Heart of Jesus, as the poor place an empty basket at the doors of the rich, and Jesus filled them with his sweetness and strength.” The following lines are some of the provisions for my soul:
- I am hired to God since this morning, and it is on his estate I am at work. Courage, then; work, work on. He is a good Master, and a great reward awaits me this evening.
- Do you wish to please God? If so, endure, labour, and be cheerful.
- There are three things which the world can never take from me: the happiness of prayer, of suffering, and of devotion. I can enjoy this happiness always and everywhere.
- God looks down upon me at this hour … Master, see; I am where thou wishes me to be.
- God metes out the recompense according to the fervour applied, the difficulty overcome, the weariness endured, the small satisfaction received.
- My God, I hold forth my hand to thee; bestow on me a little alms, a little love, a little strength, a little joy.
- If situated as I am, Jesus Christ would not have been impatient. He would not have made more haste than was necessary. He would not have been troubled by a word or a look of disapprobation. He would not have harboured malice. He would take things as they come, and would not have turned away from his duty.
- The trembling of the heart under the stings of sorrow is the cry of the soul for succour … and the good God comes. Thou art near, then, my God!
- At this hour there are many unfortunate souls who offend Jesus and drive Him away from them. Oh! come into mine, Jesus; come; and I will love thee.
- Do you wish that work should never weary you? Think that you are giving pleasure to another.
- Do you wish to experience a great joy, concentrating itself in your soul, and embalming it for long hours? Do as much good as possible, and as secretly as possible.
Dear Golden Grains, if a few souls could place you among the provisions which they gather each day to nourish their piety, how I would thank God! Good angel who hast inspired me with them, oh! pray that they be not useless.
– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, M. H. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889 (first published in Avignon, 1871)