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Tuesday, 29 January 2013

How to prepare for martyrdom............


I am continuing with St. Claude de la Columbiere, as he is so good on the surrender of the will, which finally takes place in the Illuminative State.

Here is a snippet and then some commentary. God is asking one at this point to enter into the Passion of His Son on a daily basis. This take heroic courage, fortitude, patience and all the virtues.



It remains to be seen how we can attain to this happy state. One sure way to lead us to it is the frequent practice of the virtue of submission. But as the opportunities for practicing it in a big way come rather seldom, we must take advantage of the small ones which occur daily, and which will soon put us in a position to face the greater trials with equanimity when the time comes. There is no one who does not experience a hundred small annoyances every day, caused either by our own carelessness or inattention, or by the inconsideration or spite of other people, or by pure accident. 


Our whole lives are made up of incidents of this kind, occurring ceaselessly from one minute to another and producing a host of involuntary feelings of dislike and aversion, envy, fear and impatience to trouble the serenity of our minds. We let an incautious word slip out and wish we had not said it; someone says something we find offensive; we have to wait a long time to be served when we are in a hurry; we are irritated by a child's boisterousness; a boring acquaintance buttonholes us in the street; a car splashes us with mud; the weather spoils our outing; our work is not going as well as we would wish; a tool breaks at a critical moment; we get our clothes torn or stained -- these are not occasions for practicing heroic virtue but they can be a means of acquiring it if we wish. If we were careful to offer all these petty annoyances to God and accept them as being ordered by His providence we would soon be in a position to support the greatest misfortunes that can happen to us, besides at the same time insensibly drawing close to intimate union with God.


To this exercise -- so easy and yet so useful for us and pleasing to God -- another may be added. Every morning as soon as you get up think of all the most disagreeable things that could happen to you during the day. Your house might be burnt down, you might lose your job or all your savings, or be run over, or sudden death might come to you or to a person you love. Accept these misfortunes should it please God to allow them; compel your will to agree to the sacrifice and give yourself no rest until you really feel prepared to wish or not to wish all that God may wish or not wish.

Finally, if some great misfortune should actually happen, instead of wasting time in complaint or self-pity, go throw yourself at once at the feet of your Savior and implore His grace to bear your trial with fortitude and patience. A man who has been badly wounded does not, if he is wise, chase after his assailant, but makes straight for a doctor who may save his life. Even if you wanted to confront the person responsible for your misfortune, it would still be to God you would have to go, for there can be no other cause of it than He.

So go to God, but go at once, go there and then. Let this be your first thought. Go and report to Him what He has done to you. Kiss the hands of God crucified for you, the hands that have struck you and caused you to suffer. Repeat over and over again to Him His own words to His Father while He was suffering:  Not my will but thine be done. In all that Thou wishest of me, today and for always, in heaven and on earth, let Thy will be done, but let it be done on earth as it is done in heaven.

I know some very young persons who have mastered the practice of such virtues. Most of this walk to God is given as pure grace. He gives such graces to whom He wills.

But ask, pray, wait and cooperate.

To be continued.....

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