Sunday, November 30, 2014

In a perpetual agony of love


To let ourselves be completely consumed by the Beloved would be too little, and yet we shrink from offering Him our hearts and our lives.  Do we fain speak of devotion and commitment and yet have our thoughts and actions betray us?  The more He shows us His love the less we feel capable of capturing it with our poor words.  This inability to speak of His love and to offer Him the gratitude He deserves should make us, as it were, mad with the desire to rush into the "flames of and there remain in silence, consumed and lost in that infinite All."  The Beloved calls us, "Strive (agon), that is, agonize to enter by the narrow path."  Live for that divine Lover in a "perpetual agony of love."     

I would fain say much, but in order to speak of love, it is necessary to love; love alone can suggest its own language. Let the earth be silent before the great God. I repeat it : I would fain say many things, but I feel as one dumb. Listen to your divine Spouse, and let yourself be taught by Him. O my God ! teach me how to express myself. Would that I were all aflame with love! More than that : would that I could sing hymns of praise in the fire of love, and extol the marvellous mercies that uncreated love has bestowed on us! Is it not truly a duty to thank God for His gifts?  Yes, doubtless, but I know not how. I wish to do so, and I know not how. To faint away with the desire to love this great God more and more is little. To consume ourselves for Him is little.

What shall we do?  Ah! we will live for that divine Lover in a perpetual agony of love. But think you I have said enough? No ; I would say more if I knew how.  Do you know what consoles me some what?  To know that our great God is an infinite good, and that nobody is capable of loving and praising Him as much as He deserves. I rejoice in the infinite love which He bears Himself; I rejoice in the essential happiness which He enjoys in Himself, without need of any creature.  But, mad that I am, would it not be better for me to rush into those flames of love and there remain in silence, consumed and lost in that infinite All?  Ah! this is the work of love, and I am never sufficiently disposed to lose my self in love.
St. Paul of the Cross