To Pray From the Heart’s Fullness

thumbnail14The following is a passage from Elisabeth Leseur, a married French laywoman, whose letters and journals have become helpful to others during the century after her death.  She gives us a glimpse into her heart and inspires us to walk a similar path in our own daily lives:

“March 29, 1900…….I have consecrated my life to God;  I have given myself to Him with my whole heart;  I have prayed fervently for those whom I love, for him whom I love more than all others [her husband, Felix].   Now I want to be no longer useless; I have seen my greatest obligations clearly, and I want to fulfill them.  To do each day all the good that can be done humbly, so that only God may see it;  always to seek out all the misery and grief surrounding me in order to relieve it, to cultivate a lively affection for everyone; and to do all this for God alone–that is the goal of all human life.  My own life, which until now has often been so empty, will be transformed, I hope, by the strength of close union with God.  There are around me many that I love deeply, and I have a task to fulfill in relationship to them.   Many of them do not know God, or know Him only imperfectly.  It is not in arguing or lecturing that I can make them know who God is for us.  But in struggling with myself, in becoming with His help more Christian and more courageous, I will witness to Him whose disciple I am.  By the serenity and strength that I intend to acquire I will show that Christian life is great and beautiful and full of joy.  By cultivating the best qualities of my mind I will proclaim that God is the highest intelligence, and that those who serve Him can draw without end from that blessed source of intellectual and moral light.  In order to give, one must receive;  to serve my brothers and sisters before God for one day, or for even a small part of one, I must first purify and strengthen myself for many days.”