Tranquility, Gentleness, Strength - A Quote by Evelyn Underhill

On this last editorial on
our summer theme of Change,
I bring you a simple reading
by one of my favorite writers
on the personal life:
Evelyn Underhill.


St. John of the Cross says that every quality or virtue which that Spirit really produces in our souls has three distinguishing characters--as it were a threefold National Mark--Tranquility, Gentleness, Strength.  All our action--and now we are thinking especially of action--must be peaceful, gentle, and strong.  That suggests, doesn't it, an immense depth, and an invulnerable steadiness as the soul's abiding temper; a depth and a steadiness which come from the fact that our small action is now part of the total action of God, whose Spirit, as another saint has said, "Works always in tranquility."  Fuss and feverishness, anxiety, intensity, intolerance, instability, pessimism and wobble, and every kind of hurry and worry--these, even on the highest levels, are signs of the self-made and self-acting soul; the spiritual parvenu.  The saints are never like that.  They share the quiet and noble qualities of the great family to which they belong.

--From The Spiritual Life by Evelyn Underhill