11: A Saint Is a Sinner Who Never Gave Up, by Swami Kriyananda

  April 18, 295 Dwapara [1995]

Dear Ones:

I understand the Anne-Marie declarations are being sent to many of our members. I would have liked to spare you this ordeal, but if that is not to be then it can only be for the best. I know, generally, what those declarations contain, though I have chosen not to read them. I have read your many declarations on my behalf, and am deeply grateful for your support. Were I to consider those other letters useful to me—perhaps as aids to self-understanding—I would read them. But from what I know of them, they are merely dirt, intended to harm and, if possible, to destroy me. As such, I am not interested in them.

Some of you may feel that I ought to discuss those charges openly with you. But to whom are we all answerable? I believe we are answerable to God. That is what I have always taught. It is what I have lived. For this reason, though I have often asked for your opinions, I have never courted your support. For myself, I may say that I have sincerely done my best to live a good life, and with honor. I do not claim always to have done as well as I wanted to, but with God’s grace I have not done badly. And I am at peace with myself.

I remember something Bernadette said in the movie, “The Song of Bernadette.” She had been asked, “What is a sinner?” Her reply was, “A sinner is one who loves evil.” Not one who does evil, mind you, but one who loves evil. To those who err against their will, Master offered this eternal encouragement: “A saint is a sinner who never gave up.”

If anyone thinks that those charges against me are true, whether in part or in toto, that is his privilege. I refuse to defend myself. If God wants to defend me, that is His will. If not, then I will accept gratefully whatever He does want for me. He alone knows what is for our best. He alone is our eternal Friend. And He alone knows our hearts, and the measure of our love for Him. Whatever fortunes or misfortunes we attract in life—and I’ve had my fair share of both—are for our good, and do not in any way touch who we are in our souls. Divine blessings can take many shapes—not all of them pleasant, but all of them for our upliftment and enlightenment.

In divine friendship,

Swami Kriyananda