It sometimes happens that we make light of little things [in the spiritual life]. There is nothing little in the spiritual life. Sometimes a seemingly insignificant thing will disclose a matter of great consequence. Many spiritual undertones are concealed in little things.
A magnificent building will never rise if we reject the insignificant bricks. Sin depends on the degree and light within the soul. Sometimes we consider these faults as sins only in the strictest definition (discounting them as trivial). This is also true in [what seems like mild] imperfections. Yet these petty things are of great importance to a soul that is tending towards sanctity. They should not be treated lightly, but with patience and kindness to open the way to the innermost secrets of the soul.
St Faustina Notebook I – entry 52
For those willing to dig deeper, I find the modern world is continually re-discovering the inner truths that Christianity has known for millennium. St Faustina is describing an element of what we today would call emotional intelligence, self-awareness, etc. For those seeking improvement, self awareness comes from reflecting on ourselves (prayer and reflection), paying attention to even our little behaviors, getting feedback on how we’re behaving (measuring our actions against standards of behavior/sin), and then hold ourselves accountable for change (via confession). While the world does this to it’s own constantly changing standards, the Christian measures themselves against the teachings, example, and living relationship with Jesus.
Despite hundreds or even thousands of years, just about every historical document from humanities earliest days shows the same human frailties exist. Most are just as true today as a thousand years ago. Just like the equations of gravity that rule the orbits of our planets to the tensile strength of certain kinds of steel, we can put our complete faith and trust into what they tell us. We trust our planet won’t fly out of orbit to our doom and build bridges out of steel will hold the cars we drive over it. In the same way, this is the true shocking meaning of putting your trust in the teachings of Christ. They do, and have, worked through all time. Two thousand years of proof is pretty compelling.
In reading this quote from St Faustina, I found the observation to seriously consider even the small bricks as important when building a beautiful edifice to be really worth reflection. We all have likely seen something that has been put together by masters. One of the hallmarks of a master is the amazing attention to the smallest details.
Yet, in today’s very distracting world, many of us rarely attend to our inner and spiritual lives because we’re too busy distracting ourselves with near constant, often largely pointless, ways we waste our time: music/noise, travel, careers, money, buying new things, clothes, popularity, consuming social media, etc.
If there was one thing I can recommend to this modern age, it would be this: slow down, viciously defend your quiet reflection and prayer time, and listen to the inner voice of your soul. It is only there that real peace will come.