Select Readings: “See Life as It is”


We are better than we think ourselves to be, and so are the others. There is a fair measure, quite difficult to find, between optimism, which sees only good, and pessimism, which sees only evil: it is to disentangle the good from evil in the work of divine creation. Evil is more visible than good because it is on the surface of things, but the good goes far beyond it. When we have the opportunity to have a spiritual conversation with a devout person, we are always positively surprised: they are always better than we thought them to be.

Let us then believe in the good in us, and believe in the good that is in others. These are paths of God. The world was terribly evil when Jesus came to it, but this evil could not stop him.

We must not be afraid of ourselves, either of others. We have to see life as it is. A deep and pondered gaze can make God visible to the eyes of our souls, for God is behind all beings. Everything is the way it is because He wanted them to be like that or allowed them to happen that way. And if the evil allowed by God makes us afraid, let us tell ourselves that before this evil there is a good, and it is this good that was desired. Then I can say, even in the face of evil, that a will (that is, a love) of God there hides in the background.

It is this will (or this love) that we are looking for. We suffer because we do not find it as much as we would like to do. This suffering is noble. Let us thank God for having laid it in the depths of our hearts as an appeal to Him from us and to us from Him. But let us comfort ourselves, for there is a remedy, it is true faith. There is a faith that adheres to truths with intelligence only, and there is another that adheres to them with the heart. The first is not enough: it is cold and distant; it does not establish the union. But true and living faith is like taking possession of God. He becomes ours; He becomes the guest of our souls. And the soul, detached from things, gets free to turn to Him with a gaze of love able to perform the intimate union, so longed for.

That’s the point where God is calling us to. But there is a long journey separating us from the creatures and from ourselves. May we have the courage to go through it, and let us get to know the joy present in the end of this path.


From: Augustin Guillerand, Silence Cartusien. Desclée de Brouwer, 1976. P. 27.

Translation: Br. Cristóvão Oliveira Silva