Saturday, March 27, 2010

March 27 – When Love Isn’t Comfortable

Sister Thérèse of Lisieux knew more than a little about the discomforts of love.

In point of fact, she often chose them.

When no one else wanted the job, she began accompanying a crotchet-y older nun to the Refectory after choir in the evening. Sister St. Pierre could not well walk alone, but she was unable to walk through the monastery corridors without sharp-tongued criticisms either! Too fast! Too Slow! Hold me tighter! Not so tight!

Then Thérèse would have to get the older Sister stationed in her chair and fold her sleeves back just so as the strident ingratitude continued, and at last she was free to leave, but Sister St. Pierre had a very difficult time handling her bread, so Thérèse began to undertake this little service as well, making sure her grouchy nemesis had everything manageable to her twisted old hands.

Thérèse had learned what many refuse to consider, that when we conquer our lovelessness, we will rise above all our contemporaries in happiness.

Thérèse chose the discomforts of life continually, that the “comfy yoke” of walking in step with Jesus might be hers. For her, it was far, far better to discomfort her ego and impatience than to run ahead of God, into the sharp-needled desert of self will, full of stinging selfishness and poisonous pride.

Yet perhaps her greatest contribution to her Abbey and to us is that all this she did, not in order to become a saint, but that she might always turn and see the face of Jesus right beside her. This is the glory of the yoke of love . . .

"Into a Desert Place"
photo by Kerry

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