I struggle often times with discouragement. I have found that discouragement has followed me throughout most of my life.I find it hard to be hopeful and optimistic. It seems that each time that I make a resolution or a commitment to improve myself something gets in the way of my being able to fulfill my commitments. Often times that something is myself and I become discouraged and disheartened because I feel that I have let myself, others, and even God down. Spiritually I still suffer from the same inability to accomplish the things that I set out to do. Too many times I don't do the things that I set out to do, thus leaving me feeling like a failure, like a perpetual light weight, a nobody.
Not too long ago as I was relaxing and recuperating from the stressful week I began reading again, St. Faustina's spiritual masterpiece, "Divine Mercy in my Soul". It is amazing how the Lord uses different readings to speak directly to our hearts. These passages spoke straight to my heart that I had no doubt that it was the voice of the Lord himself. The structure of the passages that I selected are a dialogue between Jesus and the soul of Sr. Faustina, here are the passages,
Conversation of the Merciful God with a Soul Striving after Perfection
Soul: Lord the reason for my sadness is that, in spite of my sincere resolutions, I fall again into the same faults. I make resolutions in the morning, but in the evening I see how much I have departed from them.
Jesus: You see, my child what you are of yourself. The cause of your falls is that you rely too much on yourself and too little on me. But let this not sadden you so much. You are dealing with the God of mercy, which your misery cannot exhaust. Remember, I did not allot only a certain number of pardons.
Soul: Yes I know all that, but great temptations assail me, and various doubts awaken within me and moreover, everything irritates and discourages me.
Jesus: My child know that the greatest obstacles to holiness are discouragement and an exaggerated anxiety. These will deprive you of the ability to practice virtue. All temptations united together ought not disturb your interior peace, not even momentarily. Sensitiveness and discouragement are the fruits of self love. You should not become discouraged, but strive to make my love reign in place of your self love. Do not lose heart in coming for pardon, for I am always ready to forgive you. As often as you beg for it you glorify my mercy." (1488, Notebook 5)
When I read these passages yesterday scales fell from my eyes. It felt so comforting to know that such a screw up like myself still had the chance to achieve saintly perfection. It is so comforting to know that Jesus totally accepts my imperfections and is always ready to forgive me. The only thing that I need to do is keep relying on Christ's mercy and he will do the rest. When I read this passage a new hope, a new inspiration began to take shape within me because as long as I always relied on Christ's mercy he would take care of me and help my soul to reach heavenly perfection. This is so reassuring because my natural tendency is to become discouraged whenever I fail in life. These passages help to reassure me that there is hope for me and others.