JVG had “but two thoughts: to conceal his name and to sanctify his life: to escape from men and return to God.” but when there was a conflict  “… he did not waver in sacrificing the first to the second: his security to his virtue.”

What a challenge to the life of integrity.

Alone in his room with his thoughts, his reason proved “weak and untrue,” providing him the rationalization for a comfortable and secure future. He falsely discerned that God had acted through this circumstance – and who was he to argue with God? But “he felt no joy.” And God did not leave him alone with his conclusion. He had a conversation with himself, as we all do without words. “The realities of the soul, because they are not visible and palpable, are not the less realities.”

“He was despised and rejected of men.”

What a challenge, and so great a challenge that I could not take up. But at least let me walk in humility, knowing what I deserve. And certainly in little things, I could let others get away with injustice, knowing what I know about myself. I could listen and relax my fears, even seeing the pride and offense of others, and let go of the debt that I think I am due.

But what great grief so little offense stirs in me, that I am but a babe in loving well.Teach me Lord to learn what I have known for so long. Teach my heart to love and listen. Teach my eyes, hands, feet, and tongue in pleasing you and sacrificing my own reputation to bring you obedient devotion.

Let me despise the wicked temptation to comfort within. Let me cast it off and run after you in true joy.

“Finally, he said to himself…that he must choose either virtue without, and abomination within, or sanctity within, and infamy without.”