Success and progress1

Meditation defines success and progress in life. Success is the body-dance of self-gratification. Progress is the heart-song of self-perfection.

Success says, "I am above you. You are below me." Progress says, "I only want to be ahead of myself."

Success is my temporary achievement on earth. Progress is my lasting achievement in God and God's lasting achievement in me.

Success thinks that it only needs confidence and perseverance. Progress thinks that it needs not only confidence and perseverance but also something infinitely more, and that thing is God's infinite Grace and God the infinite Grace.

The difference between God's infinite Grace and God the infinite Grace is this: God's infinite Grace paves the way for the Hour of God to strike before God grants us what He wants to grant us. But God the infinite Grace not only wants to expedite the Hour, but He also does everything unconditionally, in the twinkling of an eye.

Experience is the pioneer-runner of success. Illumination is the pioneer-runner of progress. Success is the measure of man in earth-bound time. Progress is the measure of man in Heaven-free time.

Success fights against teeming opposition and destroys it. Progress fights against teeming opposition too, but instead of destroying it, progress transforms opposition into perfection for God's greatest satisfaction in and through man on earth.

Success is an idea well-proclaimed and well-acclaimed. Progress is an ideal well-distributed and well-accepted.

Success is the preserver of today's strong arms. Progress is the preserver of yesterday's searching mind, today's aspiring heart and tomorrow's totally consecrated life.

Success is my promise to humanity's curious eye. Progress is my promise to humanity's loving heart, to divinity's unifying soul and to God's all-sheltering and all-loving Feet.

  1. RD 8. Dag Hammarskjold Lecture Series, Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, 4 December 1975.