Sunday, November 19, 2017

to bear the wounds of Love

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

To make reparation is to bear the wounds of Love, to willingly and freely make yourself vulnerable to the word God speaks to you in the silence of prayer.  You must approach Him not only with the hope of being consoled but to console.  You must seek not only the strength, grace and forgiveness that flows from your Beloved's wounds but unite yourself so completely to Him so as to accept all that was inflicted upon Him in His most bitter Passion as your own.  Let yourself be made holy in the holocaust of divine love so that the world may be filled with the radiance of His Face and the priesthood would be healed by the love of His own Heart.

This you must do humbly and without the observation of others.  Enter, as your patron St. Philip Neri tells you, into His open side; so deeply as to never find your way from this hidden sanctuary.  There, in each of His wounds, you will find refuge from all evil.  Drink deeply of the springs of love that will refresh and delight your souls.

I who am here before you, I am the Word. No book, however beautifully written, can speak to your heart as I do, for I am eternal Wisdom, infinite Love, and uncreated Beauty in dialogue with your soul. My words are not like the words of men, My words surpass even the words of My saints, though I often speak through them and continue to touch souls through their writings. My words are like arrows of fire shot into the heart and wounding it so as to inflame it and heal it with divine love. Make yourself vulnerable to My words. Allow Me to speak to you in such a way as to wound you with the piercing of divine love. When you come before Me and wait upon Me in silence, you are, in effect, allowing Me, when I choose and in the way I choose, to wound you with an interior word and to set you on fire with a communication of divine love. Expect Me, then, to speak to you, to console you, and to enlighten you, but also to wound you.  Unless I wound you in this way, you will be incapable of withstanding the attacks of the enemy and of bearing witness to Me in the midst of darkness and tribulation. In the spiritual battle that is coming, only those wounded by Me will emerge victorious. This is why I call all My priests to seek and to accept the healing wounds of My love. Those who keep watch on behalf of My priests before My Eucharistic Face will be among the first to be so wounded. I have called you to adoration because I desire to wound you not once, but again and again, until your whole being is wounded, and so purified and set ablaze with the fire of My love. Would that your soul were wounded as many times as I was wounded in My body for love of you in the combat of My most bitter Passion! Allow Me, then, to pierce you through and through until, wounded by divine love, you are wholly sanctified and made fit for My purposes and designs. This I desire not only for you, but for all My priests. I would wound each one again and again with My burning love so as to purify the whole priestly order in My beloved Church, and present it to the eyes of the world as a victimal priesthood made holy in the holocaust of divine love. Until My bishops and My priests allow Me to wound them with the fiery arrows of My divine love, their own wounds— wounds of sin—will continue to fester and to spread a filthy infection of corruption and of impurity in the Church. Let each one of you beg Me to wound her, for in wounding you, I will heal My beloved priests, and in healing them, I will sanctify them, and in sanctifying them, I will offer glory to My Father and fill the world with the radiance of My own Face and the love of My own Heart. 

This, in truth, is who you are: a sinner held fast in the embrace of My divine friendship. When I withdraw this grace of conversation with Me for a time, it is so that you will not mistake it for the product of your own imaginings, and also so that you will not grow accustomed to My words and so, little by little, fail to take them to heart and to treasure them. I speak to you so that you might share My words when the occasion arises to do so. Share My words humbly, with no thought for yourself. Remain hidden in Me: I will hide you from the observations of men in the secret of My Face, I will prepare for you a secret place deep within the sanctuary of My pierced side.  There you can go to remain hidden and silent, sharing My words freely and without the fear of being noticed or praised. Ask Me to hide you in My wounds. There is a place for you in each of My five wounds; each of them represents a refuge against the temptations that threaten you, and the traps set by the devil, who would ensnare you and rejoice to see you fall. The wound in My right hand is your refuge from sins of disobedience and self-will. Take refuge there when you are tempted to take the path that is easy and broad. The wound in My left hand is your refuge from sins of selfishness, from directing all things to yourself, and grasping the attention of others by seeking to take to yourself what your right hand has given Me. The wound in My right foot is your refuge from sins of inconstancy. Take refuge there when you are tempted to be inconsistent, and when you waver in your resolutions to love Me above all things, and to place Me first in your affections and in your desires. The wound in My left foot is your refuge against sins of sloth and of spiritual lethargy. Take refuge there when you are tempted to give up the struggle and to consent to despair and discouragement. Finally, the wound in My side is your refuge from every false love and every fleshly deceit promising sweetness, but giving bitterness and death instead.  Take refuge in My pierced side when you are tempted to look for love in any creature. I have created you for My love, and My love alone can satisfy the desires of your heart. Enter, then, the wound in My side and, penetrating even into My Heart, drink deeply of the springs of love that will refresh and delight your soul and wash you in preparation for the wedding of your soul with Me, for I am the Bridegroom of your soul, your Saviour from all that would defile you, and your God who is love and mercy now and unto the ages of ages.

In Sinu Jesu: When Heart Speaks to Heart
The Journal of a Priest at Prayer 
A Benedictine Monk