Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Christus mihi vita

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

God desires to give you all; that Christ might be your life.  Yet, first you must trust and let go of the false self that you so often cling to and allow him to free you from its grip through suffering.  Do not fear this; for the more He allows you to experience your emptiness and poverty, the more He will take your soul to Himself and bring it into union with Him.  He will bring you forth from the tomb.  Until then, lay at his feet all of your earthly faculties for Him to use as He wills.

There are some people who have a great deal of activity; they pray, mortify themselves, and give themselves up to good works; they advance but rather limpingly, because their activity is partly human. There are others whom God has taken in hand, and they advance very quickly, because He Himself acts in them. But before reaching this second state , there is much to suffer, for God must first make the soul feel that she is nothing and can do nothing; she must needs be able to say in all sincerity: Ut jumentum factus sum apud te: ad nihilum redactus sum et nescivi. My dear child, it is this that the Good God is about to do in you, and you will have much to suffer before arriving at this result; but do not be alarmed if you feel everything is boiling over in you; don’t be discouraged if next you feel your incapacity, for God after having as it were annihilated your human activity, your natural energies, will Himself take your soul and bring it to union with Him. When you make the Way of the Cross , unite yourself to the sentiments that our dear Saviour had; it cannot fail to please the Eternal Father, if we offer to Him the image of His Son. At the fourteenth station, we see our Lord’s body exinanitum, but after three days, He comes forth from the tomb, full of life, of splendid life. It will be the same for us too; if we let God act in us, after He has destroyed all there is that is human and natural in us, we shall be filled with His life; it will then be the realisation of these words, Christus mihi vita. This is what you must arrive at; the Eternal Father wishes to see in you only His Son. Remember St. Paul’s words: Ut inveniar in illo, that is your way, my child. Your personality is still too strong; keep before the eyes of your soul the ideal that is to be found in Jesus Christ, where all comes from the Word without there being a human personality in Christ. I recommend you to take each of your faculties every morning and lay them down at Christ’s feet, that all may come from Him and that you no longer act except out of love for Him.

Union with God, chapter 2, section 4

Marmion, Blessed Columba