Spiritual Reading for Tuesday – Nineteenth Week After Pentecost

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Spiritual Reading

“MERIT CONSISTS IN SUFFERING AND IN LOVING.”

The whole life of Teresa was one continual exercise of the love of God, and a constant study of what might best please her Beloved. Her very life was terminated through the violence of her love, consumed as indeed her heart was in a furnace of Divine Charity. But we are to remember what our Lord said one day to our Saint, in order to give her to understand that true love of God in this life does not consist in any sensible sweetnesses, but in the accomplishment of the will of God, and in the undergoing of sufferings with calmness: “Thinkest thou, My daughter,” He said to her, “that such gratifications constitute merit? No; merit consists in doing, in suffering, and in loving. Consider My life, altogether filled up, as it was, with sufferings: when thou lookest at My Mother holding Me in her arms, do not suppose that she enjoys this satisfaction without suffering the cruel torment that St. Simeon had predicted to her, when he said to her: ‘A sword shall pierce thine own soul’; My Father having from that time enlightened her in order that she might understand all that I was to suffer.”

“Believe me, My daughter,” He added, “that he who is most beloved of My Father is also he on whom He lays the heaviest crosses, and that love on the one side corresponds to the sufferings on the other. How could I testify this love, save in desiring for thee what I have desired for Myself? Behold these Wounds! No pains of thine will ever be so great. Thou wilt thus participate in My lamentations for the loss that men of the world sustain, whose desires are bent on the acquisition of precisely the contrary. To suppose that My Father admits any one to His friendship without sufferings, is folly; for those for whom He entertains a great love He leads on by the way of sufferings, and the sufferings He sends are the greater in proportion to the greatness of His love.”

If, then, it is our wish to love our dearest Lord with a genuine love, and to study how to give satisfaction to His Heart rather than to gratify our own, we must put in practice the excellent instruction that our Saint used to give to others and to observe herself: “Ever march forward with the desire of suffering everything, on every occasion, for the love of Jesus.” Everyone should at least seek to conform himself perfectly to the will of God in all adversities. This is what St. Teresa one day came down from Heaven to say to a devout soul: “Endeavour to have the fervent desire for the accomplishment of the Divine will that I had for death as long as I lived.” To practise, therefore, what the Saint suggests, one should offer oneself wholly to God fifty times every day, with great fervour and the desire of Him. By acting in this manner, we shall be very pleasing in the sight of God, and shall not feel the crosses He sends us, for, as the Saint used to say, “the weight of the Cross is felt by him who drags it along, but not by him who embraces it.” Just as a miser, instead of being fatigued, feels joy as he carries his load of gold, and rejoices the more in proportion to the greatness of its weight; so does a loving soul rejoice the more she has to suffer for God, because she perceives that in offering up her sufferings to her Beloved, she becomes exceedingly dear to Him.

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