Thursday, June 18, 2015

you are beginning to be scorned and misunderstood

The hour of sacrifice has struck. You already feel that it is not a small thing to aspire to the dignity of being the bride of the Crucified. Already He is associating you with His sufferings and ignominies. Herod treated Him, Eternal Wisdom, as a fool; Pilate treated Him as a seducer, the people preferred Barabbas to Him. And you, who aspire to very close union with Him, are beginning to be scorned and misunderstood by this world which would have surrounded you with adulation if you had chosen to smile upon it. Take courage, my child, these are certain signs that our Lord wishes to unite you very closely to Himself and to associate you with the works which He does for His Father’s glory. What if people do treat you as selfish or ungrateful—let it suffice that Jesus sees your heart. As for you, my child, God leaves you your little miseries. You have need of them:

1.—To keep you in that abasement where you often find yourself and where the Good God will always seek you;
2.—That you may glorify Jesus acting in you and that you may not attribute to yourself the little good you might think you do of yourself.

For what regards your weaknesses, your failings, the Good God permits them in order to keep you in humility and in the sense of your nothingness. God can always draw good from our miseries, and when you have been unfaithful and have failed in confidence and abandon to His holy will, if you humble yourself deeply, you will lose nothing but, on the contrary, you will advance in virtue and in the love of God. If everything happened to you just as you could wish, if you were always in robust health, if all your exercises of devotion were performed to your satisfaction, if you had no doubts or uncertainties for the future, etc., with your character you would quickly become full of self-sufficiency and secret pride; and instead of exciting the bounty of the Father of Mercies and of drawing down His compassion on His poor weak creature, you would be an abomination in God’s eyes. Abominatio Domino est omnis arrogans. “Every proud man is an abomination to the Lord.” You must therefore set to work. Our Lord loves you, He sees into the depths of your soul, even into recesses hidden from yourself, and He knows what you need; leave Him act, and don’t try to make our Lord follow your way of seeing things, but follow His in all simplicity.

Uncertainty, anguish, disgust are very bitter remedies necessary to the health of your soul. There is only one road that leads to Jesus, namely, that of Calvary; and whosoever will not follow Jesus upon this road must give up the thought of divine union. “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

Take courage! I have as much need myself of these considerations as you have, for nature does not like sacrifice, but the reward of sacrifice, namely, the love of God, is so great, that we ought to be ready to bear yet more in order to attain to it.

Blessed Columba Marmion. 

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