THE PRACTICE OF THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST
XLII.-HE THAT LOVES JESUS CHRIST WISHES WHAT JESUS CHRIST WISHES
We must receive with resignation, not merely the crosses which come directly from God; for instance, ill-health, scanty talents, accidental reverses of fortune; but such, moreover, as come indirectly from God, and directly from our fellow-men; for instance, persecutions, thefts, injuries; for all, in reality, come from God. David was one day insulted by one of his vassals called Semei, who not only upbraided him with words of contumely, but even threw stones at him. One of the courtiers would have forthwith avenged the insult by cutting off the head of the offender, but David replied: Let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord hath bid him curse David-(2 Kings xvi. 10); or, in other words, God makes use of him to chastise me for my sins, and therefore He allowed him to pursue me with injuries.
Wherefore St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi says that all our prayers should have for their end to obtain from God the grace to follow His holy will in all things. Certain souls, greedy of spiritual dainties in prayer, go in search of these banquets of sweet and tender feelings; but courageous souls who seek sincerely to belong wholly to God ask Him only for light to understand His will, and for strength to put it into execution. In order to attain to purity of love, it is necessary to submit our will in all things to the will of God: “Never consider yourselves,” said St. Francis de Sales, ” to have arrived at the purity which you ought to have, as long as your will is not cheerfully obedient, even in things the most repulsive, to the will of God.” “Because,” as St. Teresa remarks, “the giving up of our will to God draws Him to unite Himself with our lowliness.” But this can never be obtained except by means of mental prayer and of continual petitions addressed to the Divine Majesty, nor without a cordial desire to belong entirely to Jesus Christ without reserve.
O most amiable Heart of my Divine Saviour, Heart enamoured of mankind, since Thou lovest me with such a depth of tenderness; O Heart, in fine, worthy to rule over and possess all our hearts, would that I could make all men comprehend the love Thou bearest them, and the tender caresses Thou dost lavish on those who love Thee without reserve! O Jesus, my Love, be pleased to accept the offering and the sacrifice which I this day make to Thee of entire will! Only make known what Thou wouldst have me to do; for I am determined to do all by the help of Thy grace.