O soul, you who are weary and saddened by many things that, out of politeness, you would rather not mention. Instead, you hold them within you, not wanting to offend, hurt or scandalize any other soul around you--from near or far. You, o restless soul, who search for peace, run to the Crucified One, the Sweet Jesus; kneel before Him with contrition. Tell Him the following words with courage, slowly, purely, and honestly, and with steadfast faith that you will be heard:
O Lord my Jesus, meek and humble in heart, I wholeheartedly beg and beseech You:
Release me from the desire to be admired by others.
Release me from the desire to be loved by others.
Release me from the desire to be sought out by others.
Release me from the desire to be honored by others.
Release me from the desire to be praised by others.
Release me from the desire to be preferred by others.
Release me from the desire to give advise to others.
Release me from the desire to be commended by others.
Release me from the desire to be cared for by others.
Release me from the fear that they will humiliate me.
Release me from the fear that they will scorn me.
Release me from the fear that they will reject me.
Release me from the fear that they will slander me.
Release me from the fear that they will forget me.
Release me from the fear that they will offend me.
Release me from the fear that they will suspect me.
Lord, grant me to desire that others be loved more than me.
Lord, grant me to desire that others be esteemed more than me.
Lord, grant me to desire that the good view of others increase, and that my own decrease.
Lord, grant me to desire that others be put to use more than me.
Lord, grant me to desire that others be praised more than me.
Lord, grant me to desire that others be remembered, and not me.
Lord, grant me to desire that others be preferred and chosen over me.
Lord, grant me to desire that others make progress in virtue more than me, if of course I could achieve something like that on my own.
O soul, you who art hurt and wounded by that which you have inflicted on yourself, if the Lord hears you--and he will hear you if your prayer is genuine, honest, fervent and comes from the depths of who you are--
--how much peace will reign in your heart!
--how much serenity will take root inside of you!
--how much tranquility will be painted on your face!
--and amongst all of the events of your life, how many blissful moments will you experience, both large and small!
Don’t forget, beloved soul, that most of the offenses that we experience stem from the exaggerated concept that we have of ourselves. They have their beginning when we overestimate what we do and offer, with the hidden intention of increasing our status in the world, however possible.
The greatest thing in the world is to be forgotten by everyone, except by those who we love and who love us (even if we find that those who we love very much do not respond in like manner). Maybe you think, blessed soul, that your love for others is greater than their’s for you. How can you truthfully measure this? The Holy Spirit through the Apostle says: ”owe no man anything, except to love one another“ (Romans 13:8). In other words, your debt is always unpaid! So how are you so bold as to make demands as if you’d paid it? Love, therefore, without waiting for some sort of response. Love the following truth, and carry it in your heart: that anything, except for our ”debt“, creates within us
restlessness, instead of joy,
agitation, instead of peace,
anxiety, instead of certainty,
Don’t ever forget this!
Let’s allow this attitude, therefore to be implanted within us. Let’s not stop walking this road. Let’s not allow prideful thoughts to trick us, such as the following:
I could be doing something else, much more important than what I am doing,
It is a thought, seduced by deceptive aspirations, desires and unfounded zeal to leave our everyday work, as we quite ridiculously want our virtuousness to blossom more than that of our neighbor’s.
Rather, let us keep busy with what we are doing, because that is what God has given us to do.
Let us occupy ourselves by doing it as best as we can.
This means, in short, to do it
As Before the Lord!
So let them forget us, let them despise us, let them not understand us, let them slander us, let them persecute us, let them...
How important is this in the end? It will all pass away one day or another, and that which will remain is the friendship and love of God. Both of these He will increasingly magnify. We will grow in patience and faithfulness in our friendship and love for Him. Our endeavors and efforts to become increasingly more receptive to His love will also grow. When we are made worthy to receive the Lord himself through Holy Communion, how can we have even the smallest complaint regarding everything that has been mentioned above.
Perhaps the mistaken thought will arise, my beloved soul, if you’ve devoted yourself to the monastic life, that these things which are written above absolve you from the duty of disclosing your interior life to those who bear the responsibility of your soul and who guide you on the road of the Lord. This would be a very grave mistake!
Everything that was mentioned above should in no way do away with the revealing of thoughts and sins which ought to occur with your Geronda or Gerondissa; rather, they assume this! These things which were written are meant to show you what you must do in your cell, when, face to face with your Beloved Lord, you pour out your entire existence in fervent, loving prayer.
May the grace of the Lord be with you, beloved soul!
Translation © by M. Tishel