THE PRACTICE OF THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST
“Charity believeth all things”
HE THAT LOVES JESUS CHRIST BELIEVES ALL HIS WORDS
The true lover of Jesus Christ keeps Eternal Truths constantly in view, and orders all his actions according to them. Oh, how thoroughly does he who loves Jesus Christ understand the force of that saying of the Wise Man: Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity (Eccles. i. 2)-that all earthly greatness is mere smoke, mire and delusion; that the soul’s only welfare and happiness consists in loving its Creator, and in doing His blessed will; that we are, in reality, no more than what we are before God; that it is of no advantage to gain the whole world, if the soul be lost; that all the goods of the world can never satisfy the human heart, that only God Himself can satisfy it; and in fine, that we must leave all in order to gain all.
My beloved Redeemer, O Life of my soul, I firmly believe that Thou art the only Good worthy of being loved! I believe that Thou art the greatest Lover of my soul, since through love alone Thou didst die, overwhelmed with sorrows, for love of me. I believe there is no greater blessing in this world, or in the next, than to love Thee, and to do Thy adorable will. All this I believe most firmly; so that I renounce all things that I may belong wholly to Thee, and that I may possess Thee alone.
Charity believeth, all things. There are other Christians–though not so perverse as the class we have mentioned, who would fain believe in nothing, so that they may give full scope to their unruly passions, and live on undisturbed by the stings of remorse–there are others, I say, who believe indeed, but their Faith is languid; they believe the most holy Mysteries of Religion, the Truths of Revelation contained in the Gospel, the Trinity, the Redemption, the holy Sacraments, and the rest; still they do not believe all. Jesus Christ has said: Blessed are the poor! Blessed are they that hunger! Blessed are they that suffer persecution! Blessed are you when men shall revile you, and shall say all manner of evil against you! (Matt. v. 3-11). This is the teaching of Jesus Christ in the Gospel. How, then, can it be said that those believe in the Gospel who say: “Blessed are the rich! Blessed are those who have to suffer nothing! Blessed are those who can have their amusements and pitiable is the man who suffers persecution and ill-treatment from others”? We must certainly say of such as these that either they do not believe the Gospel or that they believe only a part of it. He who believes all the Gospel esteems it his highest fortune, and a mark of Divine favour in this world, to be poor, to be sick, to be humiliated, to be despised and ill-treated by men. Such is the belief, and such the language, of one who believes all that is said in the Gospel, and has a real love for Jesus Christ.
Help me, through the merits of Thy sacred Passion, O my Jesus, and make me such as Thou wouldst have me to be. I believe in Thee, O infallible Truth! I trust in Thee, O infinite Mercy! I love Thee, O infinite Goodness! O infinite Love, I give myself wholly to Thee, Who hast given Thyself wholly to me in Thy Passion, and in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
And I recommend myself to thee, O Mary, Refuge of sinners, and Mother of God.