The Wandering Desert Monk

The Wandering Desert Monk

Thursday, January 5, 2017

You are powerful beyond measure

"It is undoubtedly true that each of us, men and women, irresponsible and thoughtless as we often are, hold within our hands the happiness and sorrows of others. We cannot help it or escape from it. The power is in us inalienably almost from birth to death—in us, because we are persons—and we are responsible for the use we make of it. Indeed, so mysterious is this power that the very presence of a person who does not realize his responsibility is often the source of the keenest pain of all . . . The failure to exercise the power to give happiness to others is not merely negative in its results; it is the source of the most positive suffering of all. Thus there is no escape from the responsibility involved in the possession of this power. Not to use it where it is due is to destroy all happiness. Strange power, indeed, to be committed to such weak and unworthy hands; yet there could be but one thing worse: that none could interfere with the joys and sorrows of others. We might envy their happiness and pity their sorrows, but we could not help them. It would be a world of isolated individuals wrapped in inviolable selfishness; each must take care of himself and the world must go its way."
— Fr. Basil W. Maturin, Christian Self-Mastery, p. 149

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