When you need strength in your daily spiritual warfare, remember this Spanish saint’s quiet and heroic life, and this beautiful sonnet about him:
49. St. Alphonsus Rodriguez–Laybrother of the Society of Jesus
Honour is flashed off exploit, so we say;
And those strokes once that gashed flesh or galled shield
Should tongue that time now, trumpet now that field,
And, on the fighter, forge his glorious day.
On Christ they do and on the martyr may;
But be the war within, the brand we wield
Unseen, the heroic breast not outward-steeled,
Earth hears no hurtle then from fiercest fray.
Yet God (that hews mountain and continent,
Earth, all, out; who, with trickling increment,
Veins violets and tall trees makes more and more)
Could crowd career with conquest while there went
Those years and years by of world without event
That in Majorca Alfonso watched the door.
–Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins
Read it once, then read it again. Sit with it. Read it every day until you have it memorized. I am serious. You will appreciate its many layers more and more as time goes on.
Whatever the daily tasks of your vocation, your Christian vocation is an inward battle, as described above. To remember this in times when your strength and courage and patience are tested, go over these lines in your heart. Along with prayers, it will help so much.