10 December, 2007

St. Gemma Galgani's resolutions

I recently read the autobiography of St. Gemma Galgani. I found the beginning interesting, the middle captivating, and the end unsettling. My favorite parts consist of passages like these:

First Communion Resolutions
  1. I will receive Confession and Communion each time as though it were my last.
  2. I will visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament often, especially when I am afflicted.
  3. I will prepare myself for every feast of our Blessed Mother by some mortification, and every evening I will ask my heavenly Mother's blessing.
  4. I want to remain always in the presence of God.
  5. Every time the clock strikes I will repeat three times: My Jesus, mercy.
I would have liked to add more resolutions to these but my teacher would not permit it. And she had good reason, for within a year after I returned to my family I had forgotten these resolutions as well as the good advice I had received and I became worse than before.
Some of her resolutions throughout the text fail to last much more than a few days. Boy, am I familiar with that experience! Can't remember the number of resolutions I've made that haven't lasted long at all. This is what I like about the lives of the Saints; they remind me that even my abysmals failings don't get in the way of joining their company.

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