Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,
Sadly it is the most beautiful and consoling of truths about the faith that few Christians understand. Yet, it is these truths that you must be most attentive to in your vocation. Even your hidden embrace of them will bear immense fruit for the life of the truth. All that is suffered and all human misery has been given divine value in Christ. It is this that must be your greatest source of confidence and hope. But even more so, you must understand that it is your very weaknesses and infirmities that draw down the riches of God's grace when you accept them.
Before going to Him, the soul must see and feel and know that all comes to her from Him, and that it is our misery, poverty, and imperfection which, having been assumed by His sacred humanity, are raised to a divine value in Him. This is a great secret which few understand. St. Paul expresses it in these words: “Willingly do I glory in my infirmities, in order that it be Christ’s virtue and strength which dwells in me. This is why I take pleasure in my infirmities."
God wills to be glorified by the union of our weakness with the infinite strength of Christ. Christ is the Virtus Dei; but He has deigned to take upon Himself our human weakness, and the whole earthly life of Jesus is the revelation of this weakness. This union “of human weakness with the divine strength gives glory to God.
This thought has always followed and sustained me in all contrarieties and difficulties, but now it is so engraven in my soul that it, as it were, makes part of myself. I am convinced that I am nothing and can do nothing, but that, on the other hand, I must have unbounded confidence in the strength of Christ, and that in Him I can do all things.
The poorer we are, the more Christ’s ineffable riches find their place in us. Our misery, known and avowed, draws down His liberality.
Blessed Columba Marmion.