57. Teach Me to Use Every Dig of Criticism to Bring Myself Near the Fountain of Goodness in Me

Teach me to sport every scar of trials as a medal of Thy chastisement, dusky at first but now shining. Thy sacred hands were the giver, working through Thy ever‐just law. Let therefore every teardrop of sorrow caused by the actions of others wash away some hidden taint in my mind.

Let every stroke of the pickaxe of wounding experience dig deeper and deeper into the soil of my understanding. Let every hurtful strike of circumstance into the soil of my comfort bring
me nearer to the bubbling well of Thy solace in my heart. Let every gash of others’ hatred bring forth from me a loving cry for Thy love. Let all my trials be antidotes for bitterness, to bring healing solace to my soul. Let others’ unkindness inspire me to be more beautifully kind. Let their darkness not blind me, too, but stimulate me to seek Thy light. Let their harsh words remind me to use sweet words always. And let every bruise from stones of evil that are hurled at me intensify my inner fortitude, that I bless all with my goodness.

Inspire me to be like a jasmine vine, which sheds flowers on those who administer axe‐blows to its roots. May I never fail to shower blossoms of help and forgiveness on all who try to cut me with their wickedness.

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58. Teach Me to Fish for Thee in the Deep Waters of My Soul