Saturday, October 31, 2009

holier fruit...

The words of Thomas Treadwell Stone have been my companion the past few days and will continue for a few more. Today, the "flip-side" of the last few posts from the"Pleasure" part of his chapter "Pleasure and Pain" in the book ""The Rod and the Staff" T.T. Stone on Pain:

"But that which we chiefly seek now is not so much the method of escaping pain, as the spirit with which we should meet it when it has come and can no longer be avoided. We may not despise the Stoic, but stoutly with him deny that pain is essentially evil, so holding for ever of the soul and of virtue. We may not despise the theologian or the philosopher, but admit with each that pain grows of some known or unknown disobedience to immutable law, so deriving from it lessons of wiser conduct for the future. With neither of them, however, let us stop. Holier fruit than either may grow from the hard experience. We may learn unfaltering trust. We may learn to look from the depth to the height, seeing how the stars shine never more brightly than when we are hemmed in by dark walls which seem to make even the sky black.

The great end of man's existence, if we look only to himself, is virtue; if we look to his higher relations and destiny, it is communion with God. To each, let it be our effort to render all pain subsidiary. Amidst weakness and languor and harsher pain, to summon the soul into noble and generous activity; to rise into peace and bless God for his love; to maintain sweetness of temper and welcome all who visit us with kindlier affections ; to go through the whole with calmness and with care for those about us, — will be found not only virtue, but the parent of virtue. So much strength and beauty of soul have been won: they have formed their home in the heart; they shall produce new and growing fruit, asking only culture to become richer and fairer for ever. Then contemplate the same spirit amidst these same infirmities, as thus finding its rest in the bosom of the Father, — we may close our lips ; we may still our thoughts; we may soothe the beating heart; there is no less than the peace of God."

No comments: