Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,
Hold fast to the Lord with courage; for to know intimacy with Him in this life is also to let the nails that pierce Him through become your own. Indeed, the deeper the union the more one's life in this world becomes a life of suffering.
Therefore, do not be afraid and refuse Him nothing. You will know ever more clearly how weak you are in yourselves, so do not become discouraged when confronted with a little of your own misery. Indeed, open your eyes that you may see and feel it fully, before it comes upon you suddenly and without your hearts prepared to embrace it with love.
May our Lord take you all to Himself and give you courage to endure the trials so necessary for those who wish to be united to the Crucified. Here below our Lord presents Himself to us upon the Cross; the crucifix is His official image, and union with Him is impossible if we do not wish to feel the nails that pierce Him through. You remember Jesus’ words to the two disciples whom he walked with on the road to Emmaus. “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into His glory?” We are His members and it is impossible for us to enter into His glory without having suffered with Him. The more one is united with Jesus Christ, the more one lives by His life, and this life here below is a life of suffering. St. Paul says, “We have not a High Priest who cannot have compassion on our infirmities : but one tempted in all things like as we are, without sin.” Look at His holy Mother, no one ever suffered as she did, for no one has ever been so united with Him as she was. So, courage! you are on the right road, and one day you will understand this more clearly. I rejoice that you have quite decided to refuse nothing to our Lord Who, certainly, is calling you to great union with Him. To arrive at this union, we must pass through many sorrows and trials and, above all, that of feeling how weak we are in ourselves. It is impossible, dear child, to arrive at intimate union with a crucified Love, without feeling at times the thorns and nails. It is this which causes the union . You must not be discouraged if our Lord lets you see a little of your misery . He bears with it always . . . hides it from you, but you must see and feel it, before it comes out.
Union with God, chapter 3, section 2
Marmion, Blessed Columba