Thursday, March 12, 2015

The soul's fecundity in union with the Beloved is unlimited

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

The Lord desires to extend His influence over the entire Church through the intimate and complete union you share with Him.  As He told St. Catherine of Siena, your prayer and unceasing supplication rises up like incense for the salvation of souls.  If you give your entire soul over to Him, what unique and power it shall possess over His Sacred Heart and so what a blessing your life will be for the entire Church.  How wonderfully you will cooperate with Him for the conversion of sinners, the perseverance of the just, the strength of those in agony, the holiness of His priests. The fruitfulness of the soul in Christ is unlimited: bearing Him within, the extent to which you will touch others cannot be measured.  

It is not only over works which the Lord performs in it that the soul can rejoice: its life of complete union with Jesus extends that influence over the entire Church. Our Lord explained this truth to Saint Catherine of Siena: “Oh, how sweet is this dwelling of the soul in Me— sweeter than all sweetness— through perfect union with Me! The will itself is no longer really an intermediary in this union between the soul and Myself, since it has become one and the same thing with Me.” And as if, having posited the premise, He would immediately draw the conclusions, He added: “The fruit of its humble and constant prayers spreads like a perfume throughout the whole world. The incense of it desires rises towards Me in unceasing supplication for the salvation of souls. It is a voice which, without human words, forever cries forth in the presence of My Divine Majesty.” Shall we who live by faith be astonished at such widespread power? Is not God the sole guardian of the city of souls, and the sole support of the edifice of the Church? Does not He hold the eternal destiny of souls in His hands? And is not Christ the only Way, the unique Truth, the true Life of every man who comes into the world? But what credit with Him, what power over Him, does the soul possess when it belongs entirely to Him? It is all-powerful over the Sacred Heart, and its whole life is a constant calling down of the Lord’s graces and blessings on behalf of His people.  Therein lies one of the most profound aspects of the dogma of the communion of saints. The nearer one comes to God, the Author and Principle of every gift that adorns and rejoices hearts, the more truly does he become the benefactor of his brethren. How many graces it can implore, obtain, and wrest from Christ for the entire Church. How powerfully it co-operates in the conversion of sinners, the perseverance of the just, the salvation of those in agony, and the entrance of suffering souls into the blessedness of heaven! How admirably productive it is! Nature’s fecundity is limited; the soul’s is unlimited. A radiant beam shines forth from such a soul; those who draw near to it breathe “the good odour of Christ.” A sort of divine virtue emanates from it to touch souls, obtaining pardon for them; helping, consoling, strengthening them; giving them a helping hand, bestowing peace and joy on them, and making them grow for the glory of Christ. The reason is that Christ lives in that soul; since He is always living and therefore never inactive and since, again, His action is love, He uses that soul to enlighten, vivify, and save others. It really co-operates with Him in the redemption. Its action and fecundity cannot be measured. It is like the snow on mountaintops which, nearer the warm rays of the sun, melts and flows down as living water to irrigate the valleys and plains below.

Sponsa Verbi, chapter 7

Marmion, Blessed Columba 

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