In the nature around us, my brethren, many climatic changes are taking place, one after the other…
Where there is beautiful sunshine, suddenly the sky darkens and lightning and thunderstorms begin, to be followed by sunshine again.
Where the sea is calm (“like oil”, as we say), suddenly there are rushing waves and sea turbulence, to be followed by calm again.
Where “no leaf is flying” in the atmosphere, suddenly strong winds begin, to the point where they can uproot even strong trees, to be succeeded once again by calm.
The same, my brethren, happens in the course of our lives…
Where we have joy, suddenly, with or without reason, we are overwhelmed by gloom, only to be followed again by peace and joy.
Where we have clarity of spirit and a brilliant intellect, suddenly, a cloud of gloom and darkness overshadows the rational part of our soul, only to be cleared again afterwards by our sovereign mind.
Where there is peace in the appetitive part of our soul, suddenly a battle of the flesh begins to such an extent that we have need of divine intervention; followed again by peace of mind and wisdom.
Let not the above frighten us, my brethren!
All these things are called alterations, i.e. changes of state, both in the world around us and within us.
They are natural and expected phenomena, which are not absent even from the saints!
They are granted by our good God, in order to keep man at a level of self-knowledge and humility…
I understand, now, that your mind runs only to the unpleasant alterations.
For example, usually people become frustrated and lose heart, before a FAILURE!
That is why in such cases we are advised to be very attentive to ourselves, so that we can maintain the indicated sobriety.
But, let me add here, that in the case of a SUCCESS, we should be even more attentive to ourselves, because in these cases, too, there is the danger of falling…
And again, if something happens to us that is very SAD or we hear something very UNPLEASANT for us, then, our mood changes for the worse… That’s why we are again advised to be very careful of ourselves, so that in these cases too, we are not overcome by sadness, unhappiness or, worst of all, despair!
But, and here I would add that, if a very HAPPY event should happen to us, or if we come to hear very HAPPY NEWS about us, again we should be even more attentive to ourselves, because, usually, in such cases, we relax and there is again the danger of falling…
1. Let us not, my brethren, be surprised or lost following oncoming good or bad alterations… And
Let us always keep in mind and on our lips the memorable, GOD WILL PROVIDE!!! (God is great!!!)
2. Be careful not to lower our fighting flag and at the same time to keep ourselves from falling… And
3. Let not the truth escape us, that pleasant alterations, such as great joy, great success and too much of everything, are much more dangerous and are a GREATER TEMPTATION to us than any unpleasant alterations, such as sufferings, hardships and even poverty… (that is, lack of resources).
The latter (the unpleasant alterations) may bring us closer to God, while the former (the pleasant ones) may chill our relationship with God and lead us to fall…
I hope I have made myself understood!
May you be strong and may God cover, strengthen and take care of us all…
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