Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,
A thought which ought to aid and encourage you is that all that God does for us proceeds from His mercy. In aeternum misericordia aedificabitur in caelis. God builds an eternal monument to His mercy in Heaven. The stones of this monument are the miserable who draw down mercy by their misery. For mercy is goodness in face of misery. The foundation stone of this monument is Christ Who has espoused all our miseries. Vere languores nostros ipse tulit et dolores nostros ipse portavit. He deifies them and gives them an immense merit and value in His Father’s sight. If every morning you unite your fatigues, your weariness, your sufferings of every kind with those of Jesus Christ, He will take them upon Himself and make them His own. As our Blessed Father St. Benedict says: Per PATIENTIAM passionibus Christi PARTICIPAMUS. In patiently suffering the sorrows and fatigues of life we share in the Passion of Jesus Christ. Then, His strength, His virtue, reign in us. Libenter gloriabor in infirmitatibus meis ut inhabitet in me virtus Christi.
Oh! my dear child, it is a great grace to understand this and to follow Jesus in His faintness and weariness. Nothing can draw down divine favours and mercies more than this patient union of our sufferings and weaknesses with those of Jesus.
As subject of examen, take the patient and loving acceptation of the trials and sufferings of your life. In this way your life will become a continual crying out to the Heart of the Heavenly Father.
There is no heavier cross here below than that state of exhaustion and lassitude produced by the climate and by the life you have to lead. But, believe me, there is nothing that brings about the true divine life within us like union with the weakness of Jesus.
In espousing our nature in the Incarnation, He took upon Himself all our weaknesses, all our powerlessness, all our sufferings; He made them His own: Vere languores nostros ipse tulit et dolores nostros ipse portavit. At the time of the Incarnation the Word did not assume a glorious body, like that of Tabor, not an impassible body like that of the Resurrection, but in similitudinem carnis peccati, a body made in the likeness of sinful flesh, like to ours in all things, save personal sin. In taking our sins, He uplifted and rendered our weaknesses divine, and thenceforth they cry out in us to the Father, like those of Jesus Christ Himself.
It is by pure faith, by love without any feeling that this is brought about; and, in place of our weaknesses, we receive the strength of Christ in an immense degree.
I want so much to teach you this great truth and to help you to put it into practice. To do so, you must give yourself up unconditionally to Jesus Christ by accepting in pure faith all that He sends or permits. Know, my daughter, that in a soul like yours, which in reality seeks only Him, there is an unconscious prayer, unfelt but very real, which rises up to God in the midst of your sense of failure, for our desires are “true prayers for Him Who searcheth the reins and hearts.” Desiderium pauperum exaudivit auris tua. But, for this, the great virtue for you must be patience. Patientia vobis NECESSARIA est. It is by patience, the absence of any, even inward, murmuring, by meeting every trouble with a smile, that Jesus makes you share in His Passion.
Christ divinises our sufferings and gives them an immense merit and value in His Father’s sight. If every morning you unite your fatigues, your weariness, your sufferings of every kind with those of Jesus, He will take them upon Himself and make them His own.
Blessed Columba Marmion