Mrs. Dinh Nhu Ngo, Vietnam's First Lady,
Saigon, Vietnam, 1962
Saigon, Vietnam, 1962
Infinite Goodness! My Lord and my God! I can discover nothing in my soul but depravity, blindness in my understanding, and irregularity in my will. I look upon afflictions, contempt, desolation, and temptation, as the greatest of evils, while Thou considers them as the most efficacious means for my sanctification and future glory in heaven. To such an extent have my judgment and understanding been blinded! But my misery does not stop here. My will is as vitiated as my understanding is clouded. My own ease, honour the esteem of creatures, a false peace and tranquility of heart, submission when my natural inclinations are not opposed, are the sole objects of my choice; everything else terrifies me. I eagerly grasp the envonomed cup, and reject the medicine intended to effect my cure. What is the remedy? I have this day, O my God, learned that I must love and serve Thee, as Thou willest, and not as I will; and this I cannot do, without adopting the means Thou hast appointed for me, in order to secure my eternal salvation. From this moment I give Thee my heart, and I will make every sacrifice Thou shalt demand of me. Honour and contempt, health and sickness, consolation and desolation, all shall henceforth become to me matters of indifference. I will also submit to every injunction of obedience. Nature may repine, but with Thy assistance, grace shall in future triumph. I will employ the remainder of my life in endeavouring to love and serve Thee according to Thy will. How blessed is the soul who is thus disposed! Charity, which is the foundation of sanctity, is now perfected in her, and will ultimately lead to the closest union with God. Would that I had attained this degree of sanctity! but of myself I can do nothing, so great is my weakness and inconstancy. Thy omnipotence alone can strengthen and support me. Accept, O my Jesus, all the desires of my heart, purify it from all inordinate love of creatures, take from me all dread and faintheartedness with regard to those things most repugnant to my self-love. Grant me the virtue of disengagement of heart, that I may desire nothing but to please Thee, and fear nothing but to offend Thee, O Jesus, my most merciful Father. Amen.
Meditations on Truths of Eternity, Dublin,
William Powell, 10 Essex Bridge, 1858.