Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,
The narrow path that leads to the kingdom is the Cross. As one dedicated to reparation for Priests, you will meet it daily and the important thing is to accept and embrace it in union with Jesus. All the contrarieties, misunderstandings and physical sufferings you meet in your daily duties become divine and holy through your union with Christ.
Your patience will unite you with Mary and she will bless you as well for having shared in her divine maternity. Each time you suffer for and bring another soul to know and love Jesus, you beget Christ within it. Expect, as quite normal, the feelings of forsakenness you may have and the sometimes poignant sense of your own weakness and poverty. When you remain tranquil and at peace in the face of these things, it is the sure sign of the presence of the Spirit in your soul. Yield yourself at every turn into God's hands. Such bare faith is the best and highest of immolations.
It is impossible to go to heaven by any other way than that which Jesus went by, the way of the Cross. You will meet with this Cross daily in one manner or another. The great thing is to accept it in union with Jesus. For it is that which gives it all its merit.
This life is not given by God as a Paradise. It is a time of trial followed by an eternity of joy and rest. Christ suffered all His life, for the shadow of the Cross ever hung over Him, and those who love Him share His Cross to some extent all their life long. The contrarieties, the misunderstandings, the sufferings of heart and body, household difficulties, all these things form the portion of your cross, and when you accept these trials they become holy and divine by their union with those of Jesus Christ. The virtue that I want to find in you on our next meeting is above all patience. Patience unites us exceedingly with Jesus suffering, as Mary was united with Jesus at the foot of the Cross.
May God bless you for having endured for His love, the pains, the lassitude and cares of motherhood in order to give Him souls to praise Him for all eternity. Mary will bless you because you have shared with her the divine maternity. St. Bede tells us that each time we teach a soul to know and love Jesus, we beget Christ within it. You will thus be mother of your dear children by a twofold claim.
It is quite normal that you should feel forsaken and in a state of dryness and tedium from time to time. All souls that aspire to union with Jesus Christ must pass through that. This sense of incapacity, of weakness, of tedium is needful in order that our pride may not attribute to ourselves what comes to us from God. The sense of almost unconscious peace that you feel in the depth of your heart is a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the depth of your soul.
Jesus is the Lamb of God and His immolation consists in this, that He yielded Himself up like a gentle lamb to all the sufferings that His Father willed to permit for Him. He did not turn His face away from those who spat upon Him. He did not open His mouth. If we wish to be united to this Divine Lamb, we must yield ourselves up in bare faith to God’s hand that strikes us, to all the sufferings that His love and wisdom permit. That is the best and highest of immolations. Jesus has known weariness, fear, fatigue. He understands all that.
Blessed Columba Marmion.