Struggles Are Occasions For Victory

One of my top 10 favorite books and a spiritual reading staple from college, is I Believe in Love by Père Jean du Couer de Jésus D’Elbee (leave it to the religious and Mexicans to have seven names, LOL!) Compiled by a priest who gave retreats on the spirituality of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, this book exemplifies the depth and beauty of St. Thérèse’s simple and childlike approach to spirituality. Don’t be fooled by her simplicity – she is one of the few female Saints to be counted among the Doctors of the Church!

Thérèse had an overly sensitive temperament as a child and would react very strongly often even to small comments or actions. I can relate to her as an empath with a passionate nature and strong will. As such, the following passage has earned all the prestigious designations of being highlighted, starred, and the page dog-eared in my copy.

“I assure you that I like a hundred times better those sensitive natures who suffer profoundly, who feel the stings, who react strongly, who kick, than the soft, indifferent, passive natures from whom everything slides off without penetrating. I prefer the former, on the condition that their reactions are occasions of victory for them, that they profit from them to unite themselves more closely to Jesus and to give him the proof that it is him they love, repudiating what displeases him. The occasion for struggle is the occasion for victory. We do not have to yield deliberately, and, with the grace of God, we can always overcome. Ask him to rebuke the rising waves, to calm them, ask him who in the boat stilled the furious sea with one word.

He will not calm it right away, because these very struggles which humiliate us are precious, and if it were enough to say a little prayer to become instantly an angel of meekness, it would be too easy. Often he will leave you the trial, he will leave you the humiliation, but he will help you stay united to his will in the very center of the storm. And if it has happened that you have yielded, you will pick yourself up very quickly, asking him to make everything right: ‘Jesus, repair what I have done badly.’

A notion which is not widespread and which, nevertheless, is very important is that Jesus, when we ask him with confidence, repairs not only the evil we have done in ourselves, but also the evil we have done around us.”

– “I Believe in love” by Pére jean du couer de jésus D’Elbée

Every time I read this, it resets my perspective and gives me hope. It reminds me to place my complete confidence in Christ, not in myself. And to ask for the intercession of St. Thérèse of Lisieux to help me turn my struggles into occasions of victory.

I pray that these words will speak to your heart in some way that it needs today.

These are retreats on the fundamentals of the spiritual life in book form. St. Therese of Lisiuex’s “Little Way” is a fundamental yet simple approach to daily living out your faith. It’s a rich but an easy read to come back to and always receive spiritual nourishment. If you’re seeking enlightenment, get this must-read gem here!

About Author

Creative, Entrepreneur & Silly-Heart. Christ has called her to bring the broken to His Sacred Heart. Calls Austin home with her mountain-man husband, Mike, who she loves to travel through life with as well as around the world.

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