Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The altar of your heart

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

As the day begins, seek immediately to offer all that you are and have to God and for His good pleasure.  Set yourselves to do all things with the same intention as Christ - in obedience offering yourselves, body and soul, as a holocaust and victim of love for the human race.  

Throughout the day, continue to think of your morning Mass where the unity you desire was established; in order that you may accept all the troubles and afflictions which God in His providence sends you.  Accept all from His will and in conformity to Christ and so practically live the Mass.  Let your heart be an altar whence the incense of your sacrifice and submission unceasing rises up to God.

Each morning, let us join ourselves to Jesus in His obedience, in the entire submission that He made of Himself at the moment of the Incarnation: “Behold me, O my God, I give myself to Thee, to Thy good pleasure. Because I love Thee, I will give Thee the homage that consists in submitting my whole being to Thy will, whatever it may be.

Lord Jesus, in union with that intention and that love with which You became obedient unto death, and the death of the Cross, and ever did that which was pleasing to our Father, I wish to do all things today in Your name and in the spirit of humility, obedience, and submission.

Eternal Father, even as Your Divine Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, offers Himself to Your Majesty as holocaust and victim for the human race, even so do I offer myself body and soul to You; do with me what You will; to this end I accept all the troubles, mortifications, afflictions, which it shall please You to send me this day. I accept all from Your divine will; O my God, may my will ever be conformed to Yours!

During the day let us think of our morning Mass. We were then united to the immolation of Jesus and placed upon the altar with the Divine Victim; let us therefore accept generously the sufferings, the vexations, the burden of the day and the heat thereof, the difficulties and self-denial inherent to life. Thus we shall practically live our Mass. Indeed, is not our heart an altar whence the incense of our sacrifice and our submission to His adorable will unceasingly rises up to God? What altar could be more pleasing to Him than a heart full of love constantly offered up to Him? For we can always sacrifice upon this altar, and offer ourselves with the Son of His love, for His glory and the welfare of souls.

This is the teaching that our Lord Himself gave to St. Mechtilde. One day whilst she was thinking that her illness made her useless and that her sufferings were unavailing, the Lord said to her: “Place all thy pains in My Heart and I will give them the most absolute perfection that suffering can possess. As My divinity drew to itself the sufferings of My humanity and made them its own, so will I transport thy pains into My divinity, I will unite them to My Passion and make thee share in that glory which God the Father has bestowed on My “sacred humanity in return for all its sufferings. Confide, therefore, each of thy pains to Love in saying: ‘O Love, I give them to Thee with the same intention that Thou hadst when Thou didst bring them to me from the Heart of God, and I beseech Thee to offer them to Him again, made perfect by intensest gratitude. . . .’ “My Passion,” added Christ Jesus, “bore infinite fruit in heaven and upon earth; thus thy pains, thy tribulations offered to Me and united to My Passion will be so fruitful that they will procure more glory for the elect, new merit for the just, forgiveness for sinners, and an alleviation of their pains for the souls in purgatory. What is there indeed that My Heart cannot change for the better, since it is from the goodness of My Heart that all good flows both in heaven and on earth?”

Blessed Columba Marmion