Letters to Young Girls

27 - A Means of Improving Ourselves


écrit

PUBLICATION DATE

06 . 06 . 2024

Rubric

Letters to Young Girls

27 - A Means of Improving Ourselves

Author

The Daughters of Mary

Un perfectionnement personnel

Dear Friend,

Mathilda is busy working on a French assignment, exchanging at the same time with Myriam, a classmate with whom she gets along well, when Charlene comes up to her to request an explanation. Charlene is a girl in her class who, from the beginning of the new school year, started coming up to her often to talk with her as though she were looking for a friend.

Being tall and with a strong build, compared to Mathilda, Charlene’s hair is thick, short and frizzy, almost unruly. She has a rather unusual way of walking with short, rapid steps and is always slightly bent forward, her head partially lowered, looking at people over the top of her glasses.

Livres empilés

Without really knowing why, Mathilda is irritated by her posture; even the way she holds her sandwich gets on Mathilda’s nerves. Each time, an inexplicable and unpleasant inner feeling rises up in her. Furthermore, Charlene is not very expressive and often seems to be absent-minded. In fact, she doesn’t have a very charming personality, and if Charlene had not been the one to take the first step, for this requires courage, Mathilda would probably never have sought her out or tried to get to know her.

On the other hand, Charlene is a good girl. She seems to feel at ease with and have confidence in Mathilda since she doesn’t hesitate to confide certain things to her. In fact, her father is an alcoholic and the situation at home is not always very pleasant.

However, she regularly meets with the school psychologist in whom she finds support. She has several brothers and sisters and wants to become a nurse, a dream that is dear to her heart and to which she clings, determined to succeed in spite of the fact that she has difficulty learning. In this regard, she arouses Mathilda’s admiration.


In life, Providence places all kinds of people along our path. Thus, each day, we come across people who are likeable or unpleasant, kind or indifferent, with whom we discover an affinity or, on the contrary, towards whom we experience a real involuntary antipathy.

Branche de jasmin

In all those contacts, it is important that we maintain an open and receptive heart in order to welcome, understand and love the other person, not because of a natural liking but by overcoming our human sentiments in order to adopt an attitude of charity, for each person in our entourage is beneficial for us.

In fact, all the persons set along our path can teach us something, change us, make us evolve and enrich our personality. By living with others, we are led to incessantly learn something about ourselves and about human nature.

Our Mother was well aware of the difficulties existing in interpersonal relationships, so she showed us how to overcome them when she wrote:

Providence does not leave us free to choose who our immediate neighbor will be. We have to accept each one with his faults and his qualities, whether this is with the members of our family, with a gracious or surly employer, with likeable or unpleasant companions, etc.

Let’s learn to love unreservedly the neighbor God has chosen for us and we will accumulate a treasury of thoughtful and generous acts. At the same time, this will be an invaluable means of improving ourselves.” (Spiritual Letter Box, June 28, 1956)

Relationships with others are like a school, teaching us so much. We must remember that Providence is manifested through the persons around us, whether they make us suffer or do us good. They will always be a means of improving ourselves, thus “accumulating a treasury of thoughtful and generous acts”, as Marie-Paule put it so well. Let’s try to consider the people around us from this positive viewpoint and we will see our personality being enriched.


Charlene’s unexpected arrival made Mathilda sigh inwardly. She didn’t really feel like having her around, especially since she was working on her assignment with Myriam. She could have made Charlene feel her annoyance, but, instead, she immediately thought that Marie-Paule wants to use us to give love to those along our path. Besides, doesn’t Charlene also need a little bit of consideration, friendship and fraternal attention?

So, Mathilda makes an effort to brush aside what irritates her and she answers her kindly, with a smile that she hopes was welcoming, like the one Marie-Paule would have shown. What a wonderful victory over herself in the joy of loving!

Coeur floral-jasmin

In our lifetime, we will meet and have to deal with all kinds of people. However, who knows the good we can do to suffering souls? Often, all it takes is a kind look, an affectionate smile to bring them a ray of sunshine. And that is something everyone can do!

The Daughters of Mary


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