This morning I was pondering my failings and starting to move to discouragement–as I am too often prone to do–when the Lord in His mercy brought to mind a section of a letter from St. Thérèse to Fr. Bellière in which she describes the ideal way for us to come to our heavenly Father when we realize our faults. Reading it always brings me great hope–and I hope it does the same for you:
I would like to try to make you understand by means of a very simple comparison how much Jesus loves even imperfect souls who confide in Him:
I picture a father who has two children, mischievous and disobedient, and when he comes to punish them, he sees one of them who trembles and gets away from him in terror, having, however, in the bottom of his heart the feeling that he deserves to be punished; and his brother, on the contrary, throws himself into his father’s arms, saying that he is sorry for having caused him any trouble, that he loves him, and to prove it he will be good from now on, and if this child asked his father to punish him with a kiss, I do not believe that the heart of the happy father could resist the filial confidence of his child, whose sincerity and love he knows. He realizes, however, that more than once his son will fall into the same faults, but he is prepared to pardon him always, if his son always takes him by the heart . . . . I say nothing to you about the first child, dear little Brother, you must know whether his father can love him as much and treat him with the same indulgence as the other . . . (LT 258)
I pray that you will have the confidence to take God by His heart today and boldly ask Him to punish you with a kiss.