Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Confidence Borne of Love - "I renew all, offer all, ask all"

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

All is grace.  When your heart was empty it was God who sustained you and if it now becomes filled with the desire to give yourself to Him in sacrifice and prayer it is because of the abundance of His love.

Love emboldens; not in the sense that pride does but from the knowledge of God that comes through the offering of yourself fully.  The less you withhold the more the Beloved will shower upon you.  The less you think of yourself the more confidence you will have that God will accomplish His will in your life and fulfill his promise.  The greater the suffering and the more that life exacts from you the more sure you will become that God will grant your petitions.

This gift of yourself must remain hidden; for in the eyes of God it becomes more beautiful and remains untouched by egotism.  Let your trust in Divine Wisdom grow and let God shape you according to His design.  To be shaped by Love . . . let that be your one desire.  

 . . . behind me, a great stretch of time almost bare of merit or good works, filled only with an abundance of divine grace.  O Lord, my the future, short or long, with Thy help be rich in effort, sacrifice and prayer.  I ask Thee nothing for myself, no, not even spiritual joys.  I ask of Thee with all abandonment only the fulfillment of our secret compact, the realization of all that I hope for from Thee, and all that I will then owe to Thee.

And now, beloved Master, take first Thy payment, if that is Thy Will, and leave the fulfillment of Thy blessed promises until afterward.  Should it only be from Heaven or from an abyss of suffering that I behold the realization of my wishes, be Thou praised in advance for having heard me.  I renew all, offer all, ask all.  For these intentions, for souls, for the Church, I give myself to Thee, my Savior and my God.

A spirit of reparation.  Reparation by prayer, suffering mortification, and by good works.

To live spiritually hidden; to fast as much as possible, to abstain faithfully, to seek mortification and endure it silently; to speak no more of my suffering, my pain, myself, and to accept the real humiliation of looking so well when I am overcome with fatigue.  To be gracious, completely serene, and to practice forms of charity and almsgiving that are most difficult for me . . .

Lord, Thou hast tried me lately by inner deprivation, suffering and painful hardships.  I think that Thou art preparing me for an end known only to Thee; whatever it may be I accept it from Thy Heart and wish that all Thy Will may be done; sanctify me if Thy blessed design is to give Thy Heaven to me; sanctify me if Thy Will is to leave me here to labor and bear the Cross.  Use me for Thy glory: that is all I ask; and let me love Thee more and more, uniting myself to Thee completely forever.

Elisabeth Leseur
Journal (1911-1914)