Thursday, January 24, 2013

Why I Don't Despair

From Magnificat:

Yes, there is much evil, much meanness in the world, and the great error of socialists and other reformers is to imagine that through violence, through the theories they develop, humanity will discover how to regenerate itself and enter into an era of endless happiness. These fine illusions last a long time; then comes the time of disillusionment and of discouragement when one becomes pessimistic and gives up. This is all because the point of departure is false. Besides, since others as well as you have said, even the sincere exploit the situation. Even among the sincere there is often such arrogance, such a desire to play a role, to be the leader, a subtle form of pride among the refined. 
My dear friend, I am starting from a different point of view. I am persuaded that evil and suffering will never completely desert our poor earth, but I am also convinced that it is everyone's task to work to reduce evil and suffering as much as possible, in our own sphere, humbly, simply, without concern for our precious personality, through dedication, love, the gift of ourselves to that which is our duty. I believe that to accomplish this mission, the first thing to do is to try to become our best selves, even perhaps without knowing it. And God will do the rest. Our effort, our sacrifices, our actions, even the most hidden, will not be lost. This is my absolute conviction; everything has a long-lasting and profound repercussion. This thought leaves little room for discouragement, but it does not permit laziness. We are poor day-laborers of life; we sow and God gives the harvest. You understand ... I am unable to despair of humanity.

- Servant of God Elisabeth Leseur, from her collected Letters

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