failure on the human level may feel like a curse but on the level of spiritual unfolding it can be a blessing in disguise. . . . This shift to the spiritual perspective shows us the relative value of success in God’s eyes. The Pharisee, who was the symbol of human success, was a failure before God in comparison to the humble Publican. . . . Instead of making failure an occasion for self-flagellation, we can see it in faith as a condition for our spiritual progress

Susan Muto and Adrian van Kaam, Practicing the Prayer of Presence, 91-93

Failure ploughs the soil of my soul;

     it prepares me to receive the seed of the gospel.

Failure bends my back low,

     the right stance to carry my daily cross.

Failure humbles me into the common man,

     so I may learn to love my neighbour.

Failure pierces my heart with pain,

     that I may know the Suffering Servant.

–by Wan Phek How