Thursday, April 9, 2015

As a child has rest in its mother's arms even so my soul

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

The more perfect your love becomes the more you should yield to the hidden will of God; that is,  embrace whatever state or circumstances in which you find yourselves.  Place into His hands all of your views and options and to trust in no wisdom but His.  Many of His designs will be hidden from you, both in regards to your natural existence and your supernatural perfection - whether you will live a long time or die soon, know good health or sickness, whether your efforts will meet with success or abject failure.

You must meet this reality by losing yourself in adoration, abandoning yourself to His arms like a child in the arms of its mother.  You must no more fear His will or doubt His care than that of the child.

Most of all you must believe that God wills your perfection and holiness.  All that comes from His Will is salutary.  Whether consolation or desolation, it comes from the Heart of the Beloved.  With the psalmist cry out: 

O Lord, my heart is not proud 
nor haughty my eyes.
I have not gone after things too great 
nor marvels beyond me. 
Truly I have set my soul  
in silence and peace. 
As a child has rest in its mother's arms 
even so my soul.

The loving soul does not only adhere to the will of God manifested; it yields itself also, and especially, to the hidden will of God; this enwraps our natural existence and our supernatural life, in the whole as in detail. The state of health or sickness, the events in which we are involved, the success or failure of our undertakings, the hour and circumstances of our death, the degree of our holiness, the particular means which God wills to employ to lead us to this degree, these are so many things whereof we are ignorant, that God wills to keep hidden from us.

In face of God’s designs, our attitude will be one of abandonment; to give ourselves to God, to place within His hands our personality, our own views, in order to accept His, in all humility: such will be the order we follow. In this matter, true wisdom is not to have any wisdom of our own but to trust entirely in the infallible word, the eternal wisdom and ineffable tenderness of a God Who loves us.

At present God hides from me certain of His designs over me; I ought to find it well that He hides them from me, without troubling myself as to wherefore. I do not know if I shall live a long time, or if I shall die soon; if I shall remain in good health, or if sickness will weigh me down; if I shall keep my faculties, or if I shall lose them long before my death; I do not know whether God will lead me by one particular path or by another. In this domain God keeps the sovereign right of disposing everything both as concerns my natural existence and my supernatural perfection; for He is the Alpha and Omega of all things.

And what am I to do? To lose myself in adoration. To adore God as Principle, as Wisdom, as Justice, as Infinite Goodness; to throw myself into His arms, like a child in the arms of its mother, letting itself be swayed with her every movement. Are you afraid of throwing yourself into your mother’s arms? Certainly not, for what mother, unless a monster , has ever betrayed the confidence of her child? And where has a mother derived her tenderness, her goodness, her love? From God. Or rather, these virtues of a mother are but the pale reflection of the perfections of goodness, love, and tenderness, that are in God. Has He not compared Himself to a mother? “Can a mother forget her infant . . . and if she should forget, yet will I not forget thee.” Therefore whether this divine will leads me by wide paths strewn with roses, or draws me along rugged ways bristling with thorns, it is still the adorable and loving will of God, of my God.

But I know that this will wills my holiness, that, guided by love, it works ever and mightily to this end; beyond the means that God has officially established to lead me to perfection, such as the sacraments, prayer, the practice of virtue, He possesses a thousand particular means for realising in me, little by little, the special form of holiness that He wills to see in my soul. The whole thing for me, in this hidden domain, is to surrender myself entirely to His action, with faith , confidence, and love. All is salutary for me that comes from God: joys and sorrows, light and darkness, consolations and aridities, for “all things work together unto good” for those whom God calls to holiness. This is what our Lord said to His faithful servant, St. Gertrude: “Make an act of abandonment to My good pleasure, leaving Me the full disposal of all that concerns thee, in the spirit of obedience which dictated to Me this prayer: ‘Father, not My will, but Thine be done.’ Be resolved to receive adversity or prosperity from My hand, for My love it is that sends them to thee for thy salvation. In all things, unite thy thoughts and desires to those of My Heart. My love it is that gives thee days of dilatation and of joy, out of indulgence to thy weakness, and in order to raise thine eyes and hopes towards heaven; welcome these joys with gratitude and unite this gratitude to My love. Again it is My love that sends thee days of weariness and sadness that they may gain for thee everlasting treasures; accept them, uniting thy resignation to My love.”

Marmion, Blessed Columba

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