Thursday, May 21, 2015

when your health tries you . . .

You must not be surprised if in your present state of languor you do not always feel that fervour and ardour in your prayers that you would like to have. The poor soul depends so much on the body that when the latter is suffering or languishing it cannot do much. Even the great Saint Teresa, despite her ardour and generosity, bitterly complained that her physical weakness hindered her soul from rising to God in prayer. When we bear this state patiently we are much more pleasing to God and nearer His Heart than when we are full of fervour and consolation, for then we have the merit of sacrifice and we prove that our love is pure and disinterested.

I was very grieved on hearing you were so weak and suffering, or as you yourself say, so like a little flower drooping upon its stalk. I beg our Lord daily to give you the courage to suffer, to bear this painful state, for His love and in union with His faintness and weariness and sufferings during His Passion. Yes, indeed, my child, to suffer with Jesus is true happiness, if we could only understand this—for one who suffers is so near His Sacred Heart! But you must often lovingly unite yourself with Him and accept with Him and for Him all that the Good God wills to lay upon you.

Your good letter was a real joy to me, because I saw that you had the true happiness which can be had here below: surrendering to the divine will and finding one’s joy in the performance of one’s everyday duties. Yes, life is serious, because it reaches even into eternity; and very sad is the spectacle of those who seem to live only for pleasure.

There is no unalloyed joy here below. If your health sometimes tries you, it is because God does not want you to become too attached to this world, since our true home is in heaven with our Heavenly Father.

Blessed Columba Marmion.