“You don’t really know what you are accomplishing”

Here’s something from Dorothy Day that I came across yesterday, at a time I could really use the encouragement it offers.

Have courage. The more trouble you have, the more miserably you seem to be getting along, the more worth the whole thing is in the sight of God. If you had it all easy, if you took pleasure in it, it would not be worth much. And even if to you it seems to be going badly, that doesn’t mean a thing. You don’t really know what you are accomplishing. God makes it hard for you because you are strong and can stand it really. You are privileged. You know how a symphony, the best in the world, sounds like nothing if you yourself are tired and not in the mood for it, and yet that doesn’t detract from the perfection of the work. It’s the same with our work. We have no way of judging it, so it’s no use trying. 

That’s from a letter to Catherine de Hueck, dated July 1935 (published in All the Way to Heaven: The Selected Letters of Dorothy Day). Dorothy was not talking about the struggles of parenting, but I suspect she would not mind if I read it in that context.

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