“Sometimes we live in God and sometimes God lives in us. These are very different states. When God lives in us, we should abandon ourselves completely to him, but when we live in him, we have to take care to employ every possible means to acheive a complete surrender to him….[W]hen God lives in us, we have nothing to help us beyond the present moment…They who live in God perform countless good works for his glory, but those in whom God lives are often flyng into a corner like a useless bit of broken pottery…Often they have no idea who they will be used, but he knows. The world thinks them useless and it seems as if they are. Yet it is quite certain that by various means adn through hidden channels they pour out spiritual help on people who are often quite unaware of it and of whom they themseles never think.”
–Jean-Pierre de Caussade, Abandonment to Divine Providence
This of course is me: POURING out spiritual help on people who are not only unaware of it–but who usually it turns out not only don’t need help, but are actually helping me.
No matter–I’ve come back to de Caussade’s classic. And his “bit of broken pottery” reminds me of St. T of Lisieux’s (next time I pick a patron saint, remind me to find one whose first name doesn’t contain both an accent aigu and an accent grave) whole O Jesus just treat me like your plaything, like your little rubber ball that you kick into a corner and forget! thing.
Speaking of diacritical marks, and French saints, have I mentioned that I am devoting ten minues a day to (re-)learning le français? Why, I don’t know, as I have no immediate plants to travel there, nor do I have, say, French friends who are dying to converse with me. But I did take French for all four years of high school and at least one year of college and always enjoyed it except that none of my teachers ever spoke about or taught pronunciation. So I’ve always been dreadfully self-conscious (with good reason) when trying to speak what is clearly a beautiful language.
Also, it’s a good in and of itself to commit, for however few minutes a day, to learning something new.
Tucson is an entirely different place almost in autumn. It is chilly in the mornings and evenings! To don a bathrobe and slippers is an experience I’d not had here, and the other day I turned on the heat for the first time. All of which feels somehow thrilling, as if the city and I are embarking on a whole new relationship.
My favorite part of the day is dusk, when I sit looking out of the French doors to my office watching the leaves darken against the sky.