Tuesday, April 21, 2015

an immense and inestimable grace

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Once again Blessed Marmion speaks of the most profound mystery in which you and all Christians have been given a share - to offer yourselves to the Heavenly Father as Christ did and in union with Him so that in having shared in his sacrifice you may share in His eternal glory.  Seek in every way to take Christ as your Model and with the eyes of faith recognize and embrace the inestimable grace you have been given!

Our Lord has willed that the immolation of the altar shall renew the immolation of the Cross, by reproducing it in order to apply its fruit to every soul. It is the same Christ Who offers Himself to His Father “in the odour of sweetness”: cum odore suavitatis; this unbloody oblation is as acceptable to God as the sacrifice of Calvary: here Jesus is the Victim, as He was when upon the Cross, and as He was when He came upon earth. Upon the altar, Christ Jesus comes again into this world every day as Victim; every day He repeats his oblation and His immolation for us. Doubtless He wishes us to offer Him to the Father; but neither does He ever weary of urging us to offer ourselves to His Father, in union with Him, that we too may thus be accepted, and, having shared in His sacrifice here below, may likewise share in His eternal glory.

In this, as in all things, Christ Jesus is our Model, the Model of all those who follow Him, of all those who are His members.

Our condition as creatures already obliges us to offer ourselves to God, for His dominion over us is sovereign: “The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof: the world and all they that dwell therein”: Domini est terra et plenitudo ejus, orbis terrarum et universi qui habitant in eo. We ought to confess, by our adoration and the sacrifice of our submission to God’s will, His supreme perfection and our absolute dependence.

But our condition as members of Jesus Christ also obliges us to imitate our Divine Head. St. Paul addresses these words to Christians: “I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercy of God”—that is to say, because of God’s infinite bounty towards you—“that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable service”: Obsecro vos, fratres, per misericordiam Dei, ut exhibeatis corpora vestra hostiam viventem, sanctam, Deo placentem, rationabile obsequium vestrum.

O God, Infinite Being, Who art very Beatitude, what an immense and inestimable grace Thou dost give to Thy poor creatures in calling them to be, with the Son of Thy love, acceptable sacrifices, wholly consecrated to the glory of Thy Majesty!”

Blessed Columba Marmion