Sunday, April 12, 2015

True Virtue

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

You are called to live in that simple trust and abandonment to God in all things.  This is not the way of the world or perhaps even the way of many Christians.  To truly trust in Love, even when you are crushed by the weight of our weakness or misery, is true virtue.  More often than not, it is a secret martyrdom; placing yourselves into His hands expecting no happiness or satisfaction until you are with Him forever.  Though hidden, nothing honors God more than such an abandonment.

When our Lord wishes to unite a soul very closely to Him, He makes her pass through many trials. But if this soul remits herself without reserve into His hands, He arranges everything for her greatest good, according to St. Paul’s words, “All things work together for good to them that love God.” God’s glory demands that we hope in Him in difficult circumstances. To hope in God, to rest upon His bosom when things go well is not a lofty virtue and gives little glory to Him Who wishes to be served by faith and against all human hope. But always to remain convinced that God will never forsake us, in spite of the difficulties which seem to us to be insurmountable , that His wisdom, His love and His power will know how to find a way, that is true virtue.

When God discovers to us the abyss of our misery, it needs all the strength of the Holy Spirit , all our confidence in the love of our Heavenly Father, all our faith in the blood of Jesus Christ in order not to be crushed by the weight of our weakness, and yet what glorifies God is when, in the full knowledge of our misery, we persist in hoping in His love.

There will never be any peace for you except in the complete abandonment of yourself in the hands of your Heavenly Father. It is always necessary to come back to this point, for our Lord requires of you this testimony of your confidence and love. Each time then that you feel troubled and distrustful, you should try quietly by prayer and through union with Jesus, to bring your will to this absolute submission, to this complete abandonment of yourself, of your future and of everything, into God’s hands. Having left all for God, you ought to expect neither happiness nor satisfaction until you are with Him forever. The Good God gives you so many tokens of fatherly tenderness and solicitude, that you ought to respond by complete abandonment. Nothing honours God so much as this surrender of oneself into His Hands.

Marmion, Blessed Columba 

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