Satisfied with God's gifts


This is the point of the story that Cassian tells us about the old man who was attacked by a mob of pagans in Alexandria.

Saint Damien of Molokai

He remained calm and unruffled in spite of insults and blows. Someone asked him mockingly what miracles Christ had worked. "He has just worked one," the old man replied, "for in spite of all you have done to me, I haven't been angry with you or the least bit upset."

Our conformity to the will of God should extend to our natural defects, mental ones included. We should not, for example, complain or feel grieved at not being so clever or so witty or not having such a good memory as other people. Why should we complain of the little that has fallen to our lot when we have deserved nothing of what God has given us? Is not all a free gift of his generosity for which we are greatly indebted to him? What services has he received from us that he should have made us a human being rather than some lower animal? Have we done anything to oblige him to give us existence itself?

But it is not enough just not to complain. We ought to be content with what we have been given and desire nothing more. What we have is sufficient because God has judged it so. Just as a workman uses the shape and size of tool best suited to the job in hand, so God gives us those qualities which are in accordance with the designs he has for us. The important thing is to use well what he has given us. It may be added that it is very fortunate for some people to have only mediocre qualities or limited talents. The measure of them that God has given will save them, while they might be ruined if they had more. Superiority of talent very often only serves to engender pride and vanity and so become a means of perdition.




Father Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure S.J. & Father Claude de la Colombiere. "Satisfied with God's gifts." from Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence (part 1) (Charlotte, NC,Tan Books, 1983).

Reprinted with permission from Tan Books.


Saint Claude de la Colombiere. S.J. (1641–1682) promoted the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and was the confessor of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Claude de la Colombiere was born of French noble parents in 1641. In 1674, after 15 years of Jesuit life, Colombiere took a personal vow to observe the Rule and Constitutions of the Society of Jesus. He is the author of Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence and Spiritual Direction of St Claude de La Columbiere.

Father Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure S.J. (1588-1657) was a French religious writer of the 17th century. He became a novice of the Jesuits at Nancy in 1604 and later founded an educational institution at Alençon, where he was first rector. He was later rector of various other colleges from Amiens to Orleans to Paris. His most famous work The Knowledge and Love of Our Lord Jesus Christ, was the constant companion during life of St. John Vianney — the Curé of Ars.

Copyright © 1983 Benedictine Books, Printed by Tan Books

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