If you cannot be merciful, at least speak as though you are a sinner. If you are not a peacemaker, at least do not be a troublemaker. If you cannot be assiduous, at least in your thought be not a sluggard. If you are not victorious, do not exalt yourself over the vanquished. If you cannot close the mouth of a man who disparages his companion, at least refrain from joining him in this.
+ St. Isaac the Syrian
Sometimes drastic changes have slow, simple starts.
Saint Isaac reminds us that even if we can’t be all that great right now, we can at least start by causing less trouble.
If I can’t be merciful to others, at least I can keep in mind that I need mercy.
If I’m not able to soothe problems, at least I won’t start them.
If I’m not diligent that doesn’t mean I have to let myself be lazy….
Think about something you are struggling with. Pray for God’s help in conquering it and then try to take a little step towards winning a big victory.
We’ll never climb the mountain without taking that first step.
The Russian book Everyday Saints includes a story about a robber who decided to rob fewer times one day. He still robbed, he just robbed less and robbing less brought a little spark of grace which grew in his heart over a period of time until he ended up becoming a monk.
Lord, Thank you for your mercy. When I start to get discouraged, help me to have a more eternal perspective and to know I lean on Your grace at all times, and that grace can spark the real changes within me.