November 29, 2000
“‘The soul of the wounded calleth for help, and God does not regard it as foolish.’ Whatever the wounding be, however trivial it may appear, so that the soul would be ashamed to tell its inward distress, from whatever side the wind of unstableness blows, the soul of the wounded may call for help, and God will not regard it as foolish.” (Amy Carmichael)
November 29, 2000
“Have we not often been like George Tankervil? We have imagined what was coming, and perhaps tested our constancy by some fire of our own kindling, and faith and courage have suddenly collapsed. For grace to endure and to conquer is never given till the moment of need, but when that moment comes? O Savior, who dost not forget Thy Calvary, hast Thou ever failed the soul that trusted Thee? Never, never. By the merits of Thy Blood all is well, all shall be well.” (Amy Carmichael)
November 25, 2000
“True valor lies, not in what the world calls success, but in the dogged going on when everything in the man says Stop.” (Amy Carmichael)
I have two 600 page journals mostly filled with quotes that have struck me, moved my heart, convicted me, strengthened me. I thought I would start going through the first–the blue one–and just passing them on to you. I hope they serve the same purpose in your lives as they have in mine.
November 25, 2000:
“The pledged word of God to man is no puffball to break at a touch and scatter into dust. It is iron. It is gold, the most malleable of all metals. It is more golden than gold. It abideth imperishable for ever. If we wait till we have clear enough vision to see the expected end before we stay our mind on Him who is our Strength, we shall miss an opportunity that will never come again: we shall never know the blessing of the unoffended. Now is the time to say, ‘My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise,’ even though as we say the words there is no sense of exultation. ‘It is possible to gather gold, where it may be had, with moonlight,’ by which I understand something less helpful than daylight would be in the search and the finding of gold. By moonlight, then, let us gather our gold.” (Amy Carmichael)
“It does sometimes seem almost unbelievable that the soul of man can pass through so many devastating experiences and yet not be devastated. The explanation lies in such words as these: ‘He knoweth the way that I take’ (Job 23.10).” (Amy Carmichael)
The psalm for tomorrow’s Liturgy is Psalm 18, written by David when God saved him from the hand of Saul. It begins “I love thee, O Lord, my strength.” Here is Amy Carmichael’s commentary on this and the next verse.
Let us pray for one another that we may not go into caves. [cf. Ps 142] Any one of us might do it at any moment, but for the grace of God. The heading of this Psalm says that it is the Song which David spoke to the Lord . . . when he was delivered from his enemies—those enemies who had driven him into the cave.
There are many caves besides the cave of selfishness and self-love . . .; but whatever our cave is, the moment we get out, the devil is sure to tell us we shall soon be back again, and so the second verse in the LXX is delightful: ‘The Lord is my firm support’.
Is that not just what we want? We know our weakness, we have proved it many a time; but we need not fall, for ‘the Lord is our firm support’. I have noticed that some of the happiest people are not by nature the strongest, but they are those who love the Lord their Strength with a confident, joyful love; and they are not constantly thinking of themselves and their weakness, nor do they ever dream of not enjoying what He gives them to do, for ‘the joy of the Lord is [their] strength’, and their Lord is their firm support.”
A quick method of discerning what to do with those agitating, discouraging thoughts:
“As a general rule, you ought to regard as coming from the enemy any thought which agitates you, throws you into perplexity, which diminishes your confidence and narrows up your heart. The best thing in such cases is just to put the matter that perplexes you out of your mind, saying to yourself, ‘When I have the opportunity I shall ask the solution of this difficult from some priest,’ and then go on in peace as you were before.” (Dom Marmion)
I’m sure Dom Marmion would allow the substitution of “a wise person” for “some priest,” someone who is spiritually mature and whose discernment you trust.
Remember Amy Carmichael’s wonderful advice as well:
“The reason why singing is such a splendid shield against the fiery darts of the devil is that it greatly helps us to forget him, and he cannot endure being forgotten. He likes us to be occupied with him, what he is doing (our temptations), with his victories (our falls), with anything but our glorious Lord. So sing. Never be afraid of singing too much. We are much more likely to sing too little.”