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Monday, 6 October 2014

Garrigou-Lagrange on St. Catherine and St. Joan's Hope

When she offered herself for the reformation of the Church, the Lord gave her the following counsel for herself and her spiritual children: "You ought to offer to Me the vessel of many fatiguing actions, in whatever way I send them to you, choosing, after your own fashion, neither place, nor time, nor actions. Therefore the vessel should be full, that is, you should endure all those fatigues with affection of love and true patience, supporting the defects of your neighbor, with hatred and displeasure of sin. . . . So, endure manfully, even unto death, and this will be a sign to Me that you love Me; and you should not turn your faces away and look askance at the plough, through fear of any creature or of any tribulation; rather, in such tribulations should you rejoice. . . . After your sorrow I will give you most sustaining consolation, with much substance in the reformation of the holy Church." (24)
The Lord sustains the hope of His saints by words like those He addressed to Joan of Arc in her prison: "Do not fail to esteem your martyrdom; as a result of it, you will finally come to the kingdom of paradise." The saints place their trust more and more in helpful omnipotence, saying to themselves: "God is stronger than all"; and their immolation itself is a triumph which configures them to our Savior. With Him they thus win the victory over sin and the devil. To persevere in the struggle, they ask the Lord to give them the sincere desire to share in His sacred humiliations, and in this desire to find strength, peace, and occasionally joy that they may revive the courage of those about them.
In the same proportion as charity grows, the fear of suffering diminishes and that of sin increases without weakening trust. The more closely we are united to God by charity, the more we fear sin, which would separate us from Him, and the more we trust in Him who loves us and draws us to Himself.(25)