For Lectio Divina I'm still reading Mother Miriam Pollard's, o.c.s.o., book, The Listening God. This morning, Mother writes about appreciation. I couldn't help think of her thoughts as being comparable to mine, and also, so opposite of Saint Louis de Montfort's.
Mother writes, in speaking of those like de Montfort who walk the Purgative Way:
"...We are not made for suffering but for joy. Joy is our native land. Under present circumstances, we will get our share of pain, but we are not asked to stroke and cuddle it like a pet cat. We are invited to hold it as lightly as we can and to find in it, at least eventually, a joy whose character differs from the joy we would have had without the pain...
...It is not only good therapy but good religion to notice the bits of beauty, humor, gracefulness, and social comfort which litter even the barest roads of responsibility. We don't have to lunge at every pleasure in sight; we don't even have to leave the road. God meets us there in small beauties and inconsequential delights. He coaxes our laughter at the incongruity of our self determination.
The point is harmony.
Ah, here's the money quote. The point is harmony. I say keep your eyes on joy itself, which is God. Of course, bad things will happen. We're not living in the Garden of Eden. There is joy in acceptance of the "bad." God turns the bad into good.
I just love Mother Miriam. I see her across the altar, every time I go to Mount St. Mary Abbey, for Mass. I would love to have her as a spiritual director. Once, I even asked Father Aquinas to ask her if she would accept me as a spiritual directee. However, she is cloistered, so I knew she wouldn't be able to. But that's how I got Father Aquinas as a spiritual director.
Case in point!