From The Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur, The woman whose goodness changed her husband from atheist to priest.
Sept 13, 1904
I am going to take advantage of a rare day of calm in my increasingly troubled and scattered life to make a serious examination of conscience and meditation. And first I want to write a little in this journal; it will do me good, for I feel a great solitude in my soul, humanly speaking, and a word of faith or of charity, falling from human lips, would bring warmth to my heart.
It is God’s will that, until my most intense wish is granted, I should walk alone in the path of suffering that He has shown us, and that He has made quite rough for me lately. And yet He is more than ever close to me and supporting me.
From the human point of view, no light is visible. Sadness in the present, anxiety for the future, frequent impediments in everything through my illness, the privation of all that could have transformed my life: good and fruitful work, reading – and this because of more immediate and humble duties. Absence of the consolation that contact with people of intelligence, faith, and truly Christian love always brings; physical discomfort – all these at present make a dull, sad atmosphere in my soul.
Today in recollection and humble prayer I will implore the divine aid I need so much, and plan out my life for this winter, such as it presents itself to me. First, I must firmly renounce the concrete visible good I would so much have liked to do; my duty to my dear invalids comes before all, and since I believe in the Communion of Saints, I will as God to apply to those I love and to souls the sacrifice of this inaction. I must learn to use stray moments to write and work. I must not neglect to meditate daily, for that is so necessary to me, and I will do it when and how I can.
To return to greater serenity, inner and outer; to struggle against absorption in beloved one’s suffering; to avoid speaking of my miseries, which is harmful to inner concentration. To be serene with myself and to try and acquire more indulgence for others.
Not to dwell upon the little wounds that my feelings and convictions perpetually suffer, but to offer them “manfully” to God. Not to give way to discouragement and a type of moral lassitude as a result of emotional sadness and bodily trials, but to keep alive in myself supernatural joy and the will to act, without any care to know the result of my action and efforts.