Saturday, May 30, 2015

through the wine-press of temptation and weakness

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Have confidence in the love and devotion of God who understands all that you endure and supplies for whatever is wanting in your actions or strength.  Misery in this world is a signal honor of the Christian, but know that in this the Heavenly Father will dote upon you all the more.  You are in His hands and He looks upon your soul ceaselessly and with great love.  The spiritual poverty you see in yourself will only serve to drive you further into His embrace.

I have the conviction that a woman like you, a faithful wife and the mother of a numerous family, is very dear to the Heart of Jesus. He is the faithful Friend Who thoroughly knows all your difficulties and Who, in His love, loves to supply for what is wanting in your actions.

We are full of miseries, but we have the signal honour of being members of Christ; that is why our Heavenly Father dotes upon us. Live united to Jesus Christ, and, in Him, yielded up to the Father.

Your soul is in God’s hands; He loves it, He looks upon it unceasingly and He makes it pass through the states that, in His wisdom, He sees to be necessary for it. As the ground has to go through the death of winter and the grain of wheat to die before bearing the fruits of harvest, so your soul needs to go through the wine-press of temptation and weakness that Christ may make it bear His virtue and divine life. The more understanding we have of our wetness and of that depth of wickedness that lies in our heart, the more we honour God in believing in the greatness of His goodness and mercy.

I see more and more, my dear daughter, that no virtue is solid if not built upon the foundation of compunction and the true knowledge of our misery. According to the divine plan, God must be glorified by the power of His grace. Those who do not feel, who do not see their misery, do not know the need they have of grace. Therefore St. Paul rejoices in the knowledge of his weakness in order that all his strength may come to him from Christ. “I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” That is why the Good God leads us by this path.

Blessed Columba Marmion