THE PRACTICE OF THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST
XXXIV.-“CHARITY ENVIETH NOT”-HE THAT LOVES JESUS DOES NOT ENVY THE GREAT ONES OF THE WORLD, BUT ONLY THOSE WHO ARE GREATER LOVERS OF JESUS CHRIST.
Purity of intention is called the heavenly alchemy by which iron is turned into gold; that is to say, the most trivial actions, such as to work, to take one’s meals, to take recreation or repose, when done for God, become the gold of holy love. Wherefore St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi believes for certain that those who do all with a pure intention go straight to Paradise, without passing through Purgatory. It is related in the Spiritual Treasury that it was the custom of a pious hermit, before setting about any work, to pause a little, and lift his eyes to Heaven; on being questioned why he did so he replied: “I am taking my aim.” By which he meant that, as the archer before shooting his arrow takes his aim that he may not miss the mark, so, before each action, he made God his aim, in order that it might be sure of pleasing Him. We should do the same; and even during the performance of our actions it is very good for us from time to time to renew our good intention.
Those who have nothing else in view in their undertakings than the Divine will, enjoy that holy liberty of spirit which belongs to the children of God; and this enables them to embrace everything that pleases Jesus Christ, however repugnant it may be to their own seJf¬love or human respect. The love of Jesus Christ establishes His lovers in a state of total indifference; so that all is the same to them, be it sweet or bitter; they desire nothing for their own pleasure, but all for the pleasure of God. With the same feelings of peace they address themselves to small and great works; to the pleasant and the unpleasant: it is enough for them if they please God.