Thursday, February 7, 2013

When the Going Gets Tough

Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Colette, a great Poor Clare mystic who founded many monastic communities in France and Germany during the 15th century.  Our own community traces its ancestry to her spiritual activity.  St. Colette’s life is one of contrasts.  She began as a recluse, enclosed in a tiny cell attached to a church.  But God called her out of her loved solitude to become a Poor Clare abbess.  Although she established strict enclosure for her sisters, God Himself again called her to leave that enclosure many times to travel long distances to spread the living of the Poor Clare ideal.  We know it was not easy for her to obey the will of God, for she tells us of how He had to strike her dumb and then blind before she would submit to His plans for her.  I love her for this, that she had a very strong will, but once she gave it over, she did it all the way.  Then once given, it enabled her to cooperate with grace in such a way that she overcame humanly insurmountable obstacles.  When I think of St. Colette, I am reminded of a saying:  when the going gets tough, the tough get going.  The next time you have a tough situation and everything in you is in high rebellion, pray to St. Colette who knows what it is like and will obtain for you that holy toughness you need to do God’s will.  Here is the prayer she herself prayed when she finally gave in:

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