“Evil has no substance of its own, but is only the defect, excess, perversion, or corruption of that which has substance.”
J. H. Newman
There is an inward world, which none see but those who belong to it.
God beholds you. He calls you by your name. He sees you and understands you as He made you. He knows what is in you, all your peculiar feelings and thoughts, your dispositions and likings, your strengths and your weaknesses. He views you in your day of rejoicing and in your day of sorrow. He sympathizes in your hopes and your temptations. He interests Himself in all your anxieties and remembrances, all the risings and fallings of your spirit.
He encompasses you round and bears you in His arms. He notes your very countenance, whether smiling or in tears. He looks tenderly upon you. He hears your voice, the beating of your heart, and your very breathing. You do not love yourself better than He loves you.
You cannot shrink from pain more than He dislikes your bearing it; and if He puts it on you, it is as you would put it on yourself, if you would be wise, for a greater good afterwards.
God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission -- I may never know it in this life but I shall be told it in the next.
I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught.
I shall do good, I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments.
Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him.
He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about.
He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me -- still He knows what He is about.
Let us feel what we really are--sinners attempting great things. Let us simply obey God's will, whatever may come. He can turn all things to our eternal good. Easter day is preceded by the forty days of Lent, to show us that they only who sow in tears shall reap in joy.
Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather that it shall never have had a beginning.
May the Lord support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done.
Then in His mercy may He give us safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at last.”
John Henry Newman