Madonna House

How Unfit I Am!

by Catherine Doherty

In this diary entry from December 1934, Catherine Doherty shows that she had the same kind of struggles as the rest of us. She was in her thirties at the time and heading Friendship House Toronto, which she had founded.

It is a long time since I have written here. Yet my thoughts have never been far from you, O Lord, as you so well know. But looking back over these months, I see again how little fitted I am to be your friend and work for you, Beloved.

I am impatient, irritable, a slave of habits, cross, a bad mother, a bad teacher, a bad boss, exaggerating for the sake of effect, preaching and not practicing. How is that for a picture?

Especially if you add this: always tired, always longing for privacy, always wanting a normal life without any spiritual problems—mine or others—to face.

O Jesus, help me, help me, for you alone can have hope of improving material like this.

Beloved of my heart, there is only one thing necessary for me, and that is your love which, in turn, can make me love you.

To do all things because of love, not out of desire for reward or fear of punishment—just love, love, love, and purity of intention; to just do things out of pure love for your glory. O Jesus, what a bliss it would be, Beloved!

I thank you, though, for all the trials of the past month—the indifference of people, the trials of mind, the irritations of working with others, the one thousand difficulties I have to face daily. Give me your grace to love you, and I will begin over and over again.

Beloved Jesus, I love you. Teach me to love you more and more.

—Excerpted from O Jesus, MH Publications,(1996), p.134, out of print.