Monday, March 23, 2015

Fastened to the Cross by love

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

It is love that fastened Christ to the Cross and through it He gave His Father the intensity of his suffering.  This was no stoic exercise but rather that outpouring of a generous love.  His Heart was crushed beneath the burden of suffering - melting like wax under its intensity.  Yet, it only made His love burn more hotly, his desire for the Father's will to be done more passionate.  

Likewise daughters, let love help you bear the sufferings of your station in life.  Let grace help you to cling to the difficulties of your duties until you develop an affection for them as opportunities to show your love more perfectly and completely.
Let us again look at our Divine Saviour in His Passion. We know that He accepted it out of love for His Father, and that this love was immense: “That the world may know that I love the Father”: Ut cognoscat mundus quia diligo Patrem. But did He not suffer despite this love? Certainly He did: what suffering has ever equalled His suffering which He accepted on coming into this world? Hear the cry which escapes from His Heart crushed beneath the burden: “My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me. Nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”

Love for His Father lifted Him above the shrinking of His sensitive nature. And yet His agony was terrible, His sorrows indescribable. His Heart, says the Psalmist, became like wax, melting beneath the intensity of suffering. But because He remained fastened to the Cross by love, He gave His Father infinite glory, worthy of the divine perfections. Love will solve all the difficulties which may crop up in our lives likewise. Wherever we may be on earth, we shall always encounter difficulties, vexations, and contradictions. It is all the more impossible to escape them as they stem less from circumstances than from our very condition as human beings.

If we truly love Christ Jesus, we shall not try to avoid the difficulties and sufferings that occur in the faithful practice of the duties of our state of life; we shall embrace them as our Divine Lord embraced His Cross when it was offered to Him. Some have a heavier cross than others; however heavy it may be, love gives them the strength to bear it; the unction of divine grace makes them cling to it instead of seeking how to cast it away, and in the end they come to feel affection for it as a means of continually testifying to their love: Aquae multae non potuerunt exstinguere caritatem.

Marmion, Blessed Columba

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