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Saturday, 18 April 2015

Consolation in Desolation

“The patient man is better than the valiant.” 27 God is pleased with a person who practices mortification by fasting, hair-cloths, and disciplines, on account of the courage displayed in such mortifications; but he is much more pleased with those who have the courage to bear patiently and gladly such crosses as come from His Own Divine hand. St. Francis de Sales said, "Such mortifications as come to us from the hand of God, or from men by His permission, are always more precious than those which are the offspring of our own will; for it is a general rule, that wherever there is less of our own choice, God is better pleased, and we ourselves derive greater profit." 28 St. Teresa taught the same thing: "We gain more in one day by the oppositions which come to us from God or our neighbor than by ten years of mortifications of self infliction." 

St Alphonsus wrote this.

All this time, I thought and had heard from spiritual fathers, that mortifications chosen were more worthy than those just given. but apparently some of the great saints tell us otherwise.

Suddenly, I feel blessed in all these trials which I have to face. Praise God, as I am learning patience.

St. Francis de Sales notes that these sufferings from God teach us patience and longsuffering. This is so true.

St. Teresa of Avila's comment brings consolation, as today was one of those days of oppositions from God, and even friends.

So be it.

" 29 Wherefore St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi made the generous declaration, that there could not be found in the whole world an affliction so severe, but what she would gladly bear with the thought that it came from God; and, in fact, during the five years of severe trial which the Saint underwent, it was enough to restore peace to her soul to remember that it was by the will of God that she so suffered."

Generosity of spirit is key, not being stingy in one's attitude towards God.

"One day St. Gertrude asked our Lord what she could offer Him most acceptable, and He replied, "My child, thou canst do nothing more gratifying to Me than to submit patiently to all the tribulations that befall thee." Wherefore the great servant of God, Sister Victoria Angelini, affirmed that one day of crucifixion was worth a hundred years of all other spiritual exercises. And the Venerable Father John of Avila said, "One 'blessed be God' in contrarieties is worth more than a thousand thanksgivings in prosperity." Alas, how little men know of the inestimable value of afflictions endured for God! "

Well, I am finally learning...praise God. Can I add up my days of crucifixion, the worst of which  or not seeing STS, or not being able to use one gifts, or not being able worship God as He deserves because of frailty, distance, poverty?

To be emptied of all desires is truly a gift from God.

One more quotation:

 "To attain union with God, adversities are indispensable; because by them God aims at destroying all our corrupt propensities within and without. And hence all injuries, contempts, infirmities, abandonment of relatives and friends, confusions, temptations, and other mortifications, all are in the highest degree necessary for us, in order that we may carry on the fight, until by repeated victories we come to extinguish within us all vicious movements, so that they are no longer felt; and we shall never arrive at Divine union until adversities, instead of seeming bitter to us, become all sweet for God's sake." It follows, then, that a soul that sincerely desires to belong to God must be resolved as St. John of the Cross 26 writes, not to seek enjoyments in this life, but to suffer in all things; she must embrace with eagerness all voluntary mortifications, and with still greater eagerness those which are involuntary, since they are the more welcome to Almighty God."

Prayer from St. Alphonsus for this intention:

My dear and beloved Jesus, my treasure, I have deserved by my offenses never more to be allowed to love Thee; but by Thy merits, I entreat Thee, make me worthy of Thy pure love. I love Thee above all things; and I repent with my whole heart of having ever despised Thee, and driven Thee from my soul; but now I love Thee more than myself; I love Thee with all my heart, O infinite good! I love Thee, I love Thee, I love Thee, and I have not a wish besides that of loving Thee perfectly; nor have I a fear besides that of ever seeing myself deprived of Thy love. O my most loving Redeemer, enable me to know how great a good Thou art, and how great is the love Thou hast borne me in order to oblige me to love Thee! Ah, my God, suffer me not to live any longer unmindful of so much goodness! Enough have I offended Thee. I will never leave Thee again; I wish to employ all the remainder of my days in loving Thee, and in pleasing Thee. My Jesus, my Love, lend me Thine aid; help a sinner who wishes to love Thee and to be wholly Thine own. O Mary my hope, thy Son hears thee; pray to Him in my behalf, and obtain for me the grace of loving Him perfectly!