From William Law--A Reminder of Spiritual Laws

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from A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life
William Law (1686-1761)

It is as reasonable to suppose it the desire of all Christians to arrive at Christian perfection as to suppose that all sick men desire to be restored to perfect health; yet experience shows us, that nothing wants more to be pressed, repeated, and forced upon our minds, than the plainest rules of Christianity.

I am reminded more and more of this when I am under the pressure of deadlines, etc. I grow more remote, more difficult to approach, more distant, less concerned for the welfare of others. What I realize is that it is not during the good times that character expresses itself, but rather during the difficult times. And each type of difficult time reveals something more of character. If we wish to know outselves well, we should take a snapshot at each of our difficult moments--mourning, under pressure, under scrutiny, in financial crisis, whatever. Each of these moments will shows us in greater or lesser light depending in large part on how far we have allowed grace and "the plainest rules of Christianity" to shape us. And it is in examining moments like these that the Saints themselves realized how far they were from the perfection that is part of God's gift to us.

And yet, lest we use this as an excuse to tumble into despair, our Father loves us with an everlasting love no matter how unloveable we try to make ourselves. It is important to remember that His is a love with no conditions and without regard to persons. His love is more intimate than the masks we wear--it is love of the core of our being, of the person He sees us as in the body of Christ.

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Another good post. Always a good reminder that we see ourselves best when we are in difficulty.

The last 6 months of my life have shown some real weak spots in my character while being under the stress of a complete move (job, home) from Illinois to Michigan. Thank God this Friday marks the successful end of that journey. Thanks be to God with much gratitude for the prayers of St. Joseph.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on November 24, 2004 8:01 AM.

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