Monday, February 10, 2014

Take My Life Lord and Let It Be Consecrated Unto Thee

Elisabeth discovered that it is in being espoused to Christ, consecrating one's life and heart to him completely, that life is filled with meaning and purpose and one develops the capacity to fulfill one's duties with ardor and true love.  When God is kept at the margins of life rather than at the center, the light of life begins to burn but dimly.

During this journey I have thought and prayed a great deal, and I have seen clearly into myself and into my life.  That life I have consecrated to God; I have given myself to Him with my whole heart; I have prayed ardently for those whom I love, for him whom I love more than all.  And now I want to be no longer a useless creature; I have seen plainly what are my greatest duties, and I want to fulfill them.

To consecrate one's life to God means humbly and in a hidden fashion to do all the good one can; to seek out the burdened and beleaguered.  It is foster a maternal sympathy for all and to bring a tenderness to life that is often lacking.  Above all, however, it is to seek to God.  It is to love Him.  Out of this arises a hope for the transformation of an existence that often seems meaningless and useless.  

To do each day, humbly, and so that God alone may see it, all the good that one can do; always to seek out all the misery and grief within reach in order to relieve them; to cultivate in oneself a lively sympathy for everyone; and to do all this for God alone - that is the goal of all human existence.

My own life, which until now has been often so empty and useless, will be transformed, I hope, by the strength of God and by close union with Him.

Having made this consecration, one's true task in life is illuminated and one begins to see that understanding comes not through arguing but through intimacy with Christ.  The transformation of our hearts in Love speaks more eloquently than words and so one's energy is spent struggling valiantly not to convert others by oneself.  The peace and serenity that comes from having Christ at the center of one's life can convert the world.  But, Elisabeth warns, we cannot give what we don't have or serve and love others even for a moment without the strength that comes from Christ and a heart purified of sin.

Around me are many souls that I love deeply, and I have a great task to fulfill with regard to them.  Many of them do not know God or know Him only imperfectly.  It is not in arguing or in lecturing that I can make them know what God is to the human soul.  But in struggling with myself, in becoming, with His help, more Christian and more valiant, I will bear witness to Him whose humble disciple I am.  By the serenity and strength that I mean to acquire, I will prove that the Christian life is great and beautiful and full of joy.  By cultivating all the best faculties of my mind, I will proclaim that God is the highest Intelligence and that those who serve Him can draw without end from the blessed source of intellectual and moral light.

In order to give, one must acquire; and to serve my brethren before God for one day, or even for a small part of every day, I must first have purified and strengthened my soul for many days.

Servant of God Elisabeth Leseur

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