The risen Christ: the greatest of miracles was seen by only a few… by those that were needed. Naturalness is the signature of divine enterprises.
When we work wholly and exclusively for the glory of God, we do everything with naturalness, like someone who is in a hurry and will not be delayed by “making a great show of things”. In this way we do not cease to accompany the Lord, which is something unique and incomparable.
Why, you asked indignantly, should the surroundings in which the apostolate has to be carried out and the things used to do it be ugly, dirty… and complicated? And you added: It takes the same effort!
—I thought your indignation very reasonable. And I pondered how Jesus talked to everyone and attracted them all: poor and rich, wise and ignorant, cheerful and sad, young and old. How lovable and natural —supernatural — is his figure!
To be effective you must be natural. What can one expect of a brush — even in the hands of a great painter — if it is wrapped in a silk cover?
Saints always make other people feel “uncomfortable”.
Saints, abnormal?… The time has come to do away with that prejudice.
We have to teach, with the supernatural naturalness of Christian asceticism, that not even mystical phenomena mean abnormality. These phenomena have their own naturalness… just as other psychological or physiological things have theirs.
I talked to you about the horizon which opens up before our eyes and of the road we have to follow. I have no objections, you said, as if surprised at not having any.
—Engrave this deeply on your mind: there is no reason why there should be!!
Avoid that ridiculous adulation which, perhaps unconsciously, you pay to the person in charge, so that you automatically echo his tastes or opinions on points of no consequence.
—At the same time, you must be much more careful not to keep on showing up his defects as if they were amusing details, or to become too familiar detracting from his authority. Take care too not to render the sad service of letting the bad practice grow of turning something bad into a bit of a joke.
You are creating an artificial climate around yourself, characterised by suspicion and a lack of trust. For when you speak, you give the impression of someone playing chess: you say each word thinking four moves ahead.
Notice that the Gospel, when describing the wary and hypocritical character of the scribes and Pharisees, relates that they asked Jesus questions and put certain problems to him ut caperent eum in sermone — to twist his words! Flee from such behaviour.
Naturalness has nothing to do with coarseness, or being shabby or doing things poorly, or being bad-mannered.
Some people are determined to reduce the service of God to working in the world of miserable and — forgive the expression — lousy poverty. Such work is and will always be admirable; but if we stop there, apart from abandoning the vast majority of souls, what should we do when we have brought them out of their need — ignore them?
You are unworthy, are you? —Well… try to become worthy. And let that be the end of it.
How you long to be extraordinary! —The trouble with such an ambition is how very vulgar it is.
Blessed are you for believing, said Elizabeth to our Mother. —Union with God, supernatural virtue, always brings with it the attractive practice of human virtues: Mary brought joy to her cousin’s home, because she “brought” Christ.