Monday, September 11, 2017

For as long as this earthly exile lasts



Lord, no matter how much I exhaust myself in the pursuit of even that which is good and worthy of effort, it disappears into what seems to be an empty void.  I often experience myself and my life bereft of meaning; mentally and physically devoid of strength.  Sacrifices once seemingly made with love now leave me bitter.  Friendships that once buoyed me up and counsel once valued have faded and I slip into a self-imposed isolation.  A life full of bright promise and hope has now turned grey.

Daughter, make Me the object of all your desires and you will never be disappointed.  Seek Me and you will find Me.  Ask for the grace of My presence in the sanctuary of your soul and there hold conversation with Me, for I am in you, and you are in Me.  I am your life, and apart from Me, all that this earthly life offers you is bitter and unable to satisfy your heart.  I have created you and called you to live in My friendship and to long for Me on earth until that longing is satisfied in heaven.

In the meantime, for as long as your earthly exile lasts, you have Me in the Sacrament of My love.  There you have My Heart; there you can contemplate My Face; there you can hear My voice; there you can enjoy My friendship and live in My presence.  I was no more really present to My Apostles than I am to you at this moment in the Sacrament of My love.  Do you believe this?

Yes, Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief.  For it too has weakened.  The efficacy of my time before you I doubt and at times my gaze feels empty and to no purpose.  I would even say that my time before you is painful and any initiative lacking.  All seems forced.  My presence can only be an affront when my coldness meets the warmth of Your Love.  

I will strengthen your faith in My real presence and make it so strong that the rest of your life will rest upon it as a solid rock.  I am making you the adorer of My Eucharistic Face that I have so long desired.  Allow Me to form you, to shape you, to purify and to illumine you in preparation for the work that I have given you to do for My priests.  For this to happen, you have only to abide in My presence.  The work of adoration is also, and first of all, My work in you.  When you are before My Eucharistic Face and so close to My Heart, I am acting in you and acting upon you.  Your whole being is subject to My divine influence when you present yourself before Me to adore Me.

This, Daughter of St. Philip Neri, is why I so insist on adoration for you.  It is the crucible of your perfection.  It is the furnace of love in which I purify you like gold in the fire.  It is the nuptial chamber in which I draw you to My Heart, and to speak to you face-to-face, as a bridegroom to his bride, and as man to a friend.  The nuptial bond of the Daughter with Me pertains to the relationship between My divinity and the Daughter's soul.  My humanity offers you a divine friendship, but that friendship leads to union of the soul with My divinity and to a fruitfulness that surpasses every action and work of a soul working on her own initiative.

Consent to this friendship and I will espouse your soul.  Thus will you be Mine in a way that exceeds every purely human notion of union, even the union between two souls in the purest charity.  I created your soul for these espousals with My divinity, and your soul will have failed to attain that for which I created it, and that for which I destine you, unless you allow Me to love you and to purify you and to unite Me to yourself, not only as Friend to friend, but also as the One and Thrice Holy God to His beloved creature.  I am one with My Father and with the Holy Spirit, and when I love a soul and espouse a soul to Myself, that soul is also united and espoused to the Father and to the Holy Spirit.  Here, "espoused" is but a human word.  These mystical espousals have about them nothing carnal or material.  I speak of the union of the soul with her God, the realization of that for which she was created, and the fulfillment of her truest longings.

I fear being deluded or of falling prey to my own imagination.  Why should I dare to hope for such a thing or desire such an intimate love?  What could I offer in return?

Why should I not hold conversation with you who are the friend of My Heart?  I speak in this way to many souls but not all recognize My voice, and very few welcome My conversation and receive My friendship as the freely given gift it is.  It is My delight to hold conversation with those whom I love. Understand this: I hold conversation with you because I love you with an infinitely merciful and tender love and because I set My Heart upon you long ago to make you entirely My own.

When the enemy who hates Me and who hates all whom I love saw that My love was preparing you for union with Myself, he set about corrupting you by every means at his disposal.  Many things happened that put you at risk and threatened the fulfillment of My plan for you.

All of this has been going on, visibly and invisibly, for so many years, but now I have led you into the harbor of peace and of holiness that I have prepared for you.  This life of adoration is your harbor of salvation, just as it will be a harbor of salvation for many priests who risk being shipwrecked in the stormy waters of lives stirred up by sin and darkened by the shadows of evil.  Thank Me that I have brought you here, and now begin to love Me more, desiring Me and choosing My love over all else.  You are Mine.


adapted from
In Sinu Jesus
The Journal of a Priest at Prayer