Sunday, April 12, 2015

You must throw yourself into His arms with your eyes shut


Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Let your heart belong to God alone and once given place not reservation, no condition upon your love.  Blessed Marmion reminds us that it is much easier to say "I give myself to You without reserve" than to do so in reality.  In fact, there are very few who love the Lord for Himself and as soon as He imposes something upon them or upsets their plans they want nothing more to do with Him.

This is a great fault, indeed a great evil, Marmion warns. "For when one allows oneself to say 'No' to our Lord, to bargain with Him, that perfect understanding, that mutual abandon which constitutes real union between the Bridegroom and the bride becomes impossible."

Daughters, this is essential: when you receive the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, tell Him that you accept like Him all that the Father wills.  Consider yourself God's and never take yourself back. Throw yourselves into His arms with your eyes shut to other things.

What gives simplicity and peace to our lives is the sincere and complete abandon of oneself to God for His glory. To abandon ourselves is to give to God all that we are and all that we have in order to be His thing of which He can dispose at will. Jesus says, “Father, all My things are Thine,” and the Father took Him at His word and delivered Him to unheard-of torments. Many people speak of abandon, but very few keep their word with God.

They give themselves to God to be His property, and as soon as ever God begins to dispose of this property for His glory and according to the designs of His wisdom, they cry out, they murmur , and let it be seen that their abandon was not serious, it was only a meaningless word. I see more and more that what Jesus Christ wants of you is that you abandon yourself without reserve to His will and His love. Place no reservation, no condition to doing this, for He only gives Himself entirely to those who give themselves to Him without counting the cost. But, my dear daughter, don’t be under any illusion, it is much easier to say to our Lord, “I give myself to You without reserve” than to do so in reality. There are very few, even among His spouses, who love Him for Himself. The greater number love themselves more than they love Jesus, for it suffices for Him to impose something upon them that upsets their customary plans or goes against their inclinations for them to want no more of Him.

Consider it as a great evil, a great fault to say to our Lord, “Lord, I know that You desire this from me; I know that it would be more pleasing to You for me to do this, but I do not consent to do it.” For when one allows oneself to say “No” to our Lord, to bargain with Him, that perfect understanding, that mutual abandon which constitutes real union between the Bridegroom and the bride becomes impossible.

Those whom God destines to intimate union with Himself ought to put no reserve to their abandon. You must throw yourself into His arms with your eyes shut. You must make an act of complete abandonment to God; give yourself to Him, once and for all, without reserve. This condition must be regarded as essential. I understand such or such a thing makes you suffer, but all that is accidental. What is essential is that you belong altogether to God. Consider yourself as God’s “thing” and never take yourself back. When you have communicated, tell our Lord that you accept, like Him, all the Father’s will; tell the Father that you wish to belong to Him like this Word that you possess. The more I gaze at God through the eyes of Jesus living in my heart, the more clearly I see that nothing can be so high, so divine as to remit oneself totally to God. Surely the Creator has a right to dispose of the creature whom He has drawn from nothing; surely He in His infinite wisdom knows what we are best suited to accomplish in His plan; surely His infinite love is the most secure resting place for our blindness and weakness.

Marmion, Blessed Columba