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 Fr. Edward Leen - "Recipe for Holiness" 
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New post Fr. Edward Leen - "Recipe for Holiness"
Fr. Edward Leen, My Last Retreat, pp. 134, 135

I will conclude with a recipe for holiness. I recently read in a newspaper a protest from a housekeeper against recipes: they were all good, the complainant said, but always one or other of the ingredients could not he procured. You, too, may have got recipes for holiness before, but perhaps some of the ingredients were not procurable by all. This recipe is composed of ingredients you all can have by applying for them in prayer. It is a great thing to realise that in order to be saints we have only to be what God made us to be, and to do what God made us to do. If we are clever, then to be clever ; if not clever, then not to be clever; if we are successful, then to be successful; if not successful, then not to be successful; if in good health, then to be healthy; if sickly, then to be sickly; and so on. Perfect simplicity with regard to ourselves; perfect contentment with everything that comes our way, perfect peace of mind in utter self-forgetfulness. This becomes easier the more we realise the utter greatness and goodness and allness of God. That last ingredient consists in fixing our attention on God in our meditations, and in cultivating a sense of proportion. Then we realise our own utter insignificance and worthlessness and nothingness. If we see the whole we shall easily despise the trifles; if we lose ourselves in God how puny the rest appears!

This is the cure for making too much of little things, whether they go right or whether they go wrong, which is the cause of all our loss of peace of mind. This is the real test of sanctity, that simplicity of trust in God which is the perfection of human nature. In the end, when life is done and all is over, such a soul is found more precious than one who has shone in many deeds.

Therefore let us make a great deal of God forgetting if we can at times everything else in His presence.

Let us make nothing at all of ourselves, whether we are clever, or whether we are not, whether we are loved or whether we are not, whether we succeed or whether we do not, whether we get what we desire or do not.

In the midst of all we can rejoice that we are what He has made us, that those things happen which He wants to happen, that if all the world were to collapse and the very Heavens were to fall, there would still be the great living, loving God. That should be a very consoling thought for those who are in danger: to think that although all about them may he shaking and falling to the ground, God does not shake, God is solid, the one stable thing, and we can live on that stability no matter if the whole world is rocking about us. God is not moved, God is not beaten.

So, if we want to be saints, let us sit still often in the presence of God, lost in acts of faith, and love and hope, in acts of praise, and adoration and thanksgiving.

When the thought of ourselves and our own petty worries creeps in, let us sit still again in His presence, with acts of humility and contrition, and oblation, telling Him how small we are, how sorry we are for ourselves, how we would like to be and do better.

When the human heart is hungry as at times it must be, come again to the feet of God, and fill it with acts of longing for Him and His love and glory, rather than with the little husks of self- satisfaction; fill it with acts of rejoicing in Him and in His tremendous almightiness, such that nothing in the world really matters anything at all.

Let us pray like this and we shall lay the foundation on which sanctity is built; live like this and sanctity will build itself; let us die like this and we shall die good and faithful servants.

In Christ our King.

Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:44 am
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