Thursday, April 02, 2009

Good, beautiful, tears

St. Teresa of Jesus of the Andes was a Carmelite who died at the age of 19 in the early part of this century. I'm reading a book by and about her called God the Joy of My Life (Hubertus, WI: Teresian Charism Press, 1994). The editor, Michael D. Griffin, O.C.D., is discussing the struggle we all experience to attain holiness because of the divided nature of our hearts. It is a commonplace to talk about the necessity of the Cross before the Resurrection, but the description here gives a very concrete example in a young soul of how this works. The final paragraph of the section reads:

It took this lively young Chilean girl a long time to overcome her inclination to anger and to gain dominion over these disorderly forces in her life. And it was not easy. After describing the depths of her struggle, she expressed her discovery that "the good and the beautiful always cost tears."

The last line become especially poignent for us who are beginning to age and are still fighting many of the same demons that plagued us as youth, some of which we have only recently become aware of. The depths of our depravity keep revealing themselves. We can only hope that in some way the beauty and truth are beginning to shine through in our lives more.

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