Feast of Edward the Confessor, 1066 Our wills are not ours to be crushed and broken; they are ours to be trained and strengthened. Our affections are not ours to be blighted and crucified; they are ours to be deepened and purified. The rich opportunities of life are not held out to us only to be snatched away by an invisible hand patiently waiting for the hour when the cup is sweetest; they are given to us that we may grow, alike through their rise or their withdrawal. They are real, they are sweet, and they are worthy of our longing for them; we gain nothing by calling them dross, or the world an illusion, or ourselves the victims of deception, or by exalting renunciation as the highest virtue. When these opportunities are denied us, it is a real, not an imaginary, loss which we sustain; and our part is not that of bare renunciation, of simple surrender; our part is to recognize the loss, to bear the pain, and to find a deeper and richer life in doing the will of God.