And what, in fact, is dignity? In those Who have it pure, it is the soul’s repose, The base of character—no mere reserve That springs from pride, or want of mental nerve. The dignity that wealth, or station, breeds, Or in the breast on base emotion feeds, Is easy weighed, and easy to be sized—A bastard virtue, much to be despised.
True dignity is like a summer tree. Beneath whose shade both beast, and bird, and bee, When by the heated skies oppressed, may come, And feel, in its magnificence, at home; Or rather like a mountain which forgets Itself in its own greatness, and so lets Vast armies fuss and fight upon its sides, While high in clouds its peaceful summit hides, And from the voiceless crest of glistening snow, Pours trickling fatness on the fields below; Repellant force, that daunts obtrusive wrong, And woos the timid steps of right along; And hence a garb which magistrates prepare, When called to judge, and really seem to wear. In framing character on whate’er plan, ‘Tis always needed to complete the man, The job quite done, and Dignity without, Is like an apple pie, the fruit left out.
Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability— and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you; your ideas mature gradually—let them grow, let them shape themselves, without undue haste. Don’t try to force them on, as though you could be today what time (that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be. Give Our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.
Take Lord and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding and my will, all that I have and possess. Everything I have is yours, for you have given it all to me; to you I return it. Take me, Lord, and do what you like with me, only give me your grace and your love, for that is enough for me. Amen.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
Signore, fa di me uno strumento della Tua Pace: Dove è odio, fa ch’io porti l’Amore, Dove è offesa, ch’io porti il Perdono, Dove è discordia, ch’io porti l’Unione, Dove è dubbio, ch’io porti la Fede, Dove è errore, ch’io porti la Verità, Dove è disperazione, ch’io porti la Speranza, Dove è tristezza, ch’io porti la Gioia, Dove sono le tenebre, ch’io porti la Luce. Maestro, fa che io non cerchi tanto Ad esser consolato, quanto a consolare; Ad essere compreso, quanto a comprendere; Ad essere amato, quanto ad amare. Poiché, così è: Dando, che si riceve; Perdonando, che si è perdonati; Morendo, che si risuscita a Vita Eterna