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Quotes of the Day for May 24, 2022 – Thoughts on the virtue of failure

“It is not uncommon to find people with very sensitive consciences and who seem to have a certain attraction, even aptitude, for the contemplative path, but who cannot come to terms with things that have happened in their past. Not only can they not accept divine forgiveness, they cannot forgive themselves. Consequently their self-esteem is too low to accept the fact that failure is part of the search for God.” (Martin Laird)


“…we must use the knowledge of our failures to fuel our humility, calling from the depths of our hearts for mercy. Instead of obsessively recounting the offenses of others, we must focus our minds on the words of the Jesus Prayer as we acknowledge our sinfulness and constant need for grace. We must pray for God’s blessings upon those who have offended us and ask God to forgive our sins by their prayers. By responding to our own struggles to love in spiritually healthy ways, we will grow in empathetic patience with others, especially those who apparently find it hard to be merciful to us. We may even begin to see why we ourselves are not always the easiest people to love and how we have tempted others to see us as their enemies.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)


“[W]hy did almighty God permit the one he had placed over the whole church [Peter] to be frightened by the voice of a maidservant, and even to deny Christ himself? This we know was a great dispensation of the divine mercy, so that he who was to be the shepherd of the church might learn through his own fall to have compassion on others. God therefore first shows him to himself, and then places him over others: to learn through his own weakness how to bear mercifully with the weakness of others.” (St. Gregory the Great)


“Our problem is not with our failures. Our problem is that we do not know what to do with our failure. Generally, we take our failure into an inner dialog of self-accusation, self-loathing, false bravura, and other such nonsense. They are our inner efforts to ward off the shame of our failure…Every time I encounter a meme that suggests that people would have been better persons if only they had been whipped more, or that failure is just a sign of not trying hard enough, I hear the voice of the accuser who hates the fool and torments us all. Children, by virtue of their innocence and lack of expertise, are prone to failure. It is the gentle hand of a “comforter” who guides us past such downfalls without engaging in undo damage. Every parent should know (at some point) that we ourselves fail in that effort.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


“Maturity in Christ is about consistent pursuit in spite of the attacks and setbacks. Maturity in Christ is not about finally attaining some level of pseudo-perfection. It is about remaining in the arms of God. Abiding and staying, even in my weakness, even in my failure.” (Angela Thomas)


#MartinLaird #FrPhilipLeMasters #StGregorytheGreat #FatherStephenFreeman #AngelaThomas

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