Spiritual Reading for Tuesday – Twentieth Week After Pentecost

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Spiritual Reading


When the dignity of Cardinal was offered to St. Philip Neri, he cast his biretta into the air, and, looking up to Heaven, replied: “Paradise! Paradise!” The Blessed Giles would fall into an ecstasy, when the children, out of frolic, said to him: “Brother Giles, Paradise! Paradise!”

It is an opinion among theologians, that in Purgatory there is a peculiar pain called the pain of languor, which is inflicted upon those who had but little desire for Paradise during life on earth, and reasonably so, for we have but little love for God if we desire but little to enjoy His infinite beauty unveiled before our eyes, and the more so as it is impossible for us here in life not to be continually offending Him, at least in venial matters. Even if we do love Him here below, our love is, nevertheless, so imperfect, that we scarcely know that we love Him at all.

Let us, then, yearn for Paradise, where we shall offend God no more, and where we shall ever love Him with all our powers. When the troubles of this life press heavily upon us, let us animate ourselves by the hope of Paradise in order to bear them with tranquillity. When the world or the devil presents for our acceptance fruits that are forbidden, let us with good courage turn our back upon them, and lift up our eyes to Paradise. If the dread of God’s judgments alarms us, let us nerve ourselves by hoping in the goodness of our God, Who to make us understand how ardently He desires to give Paradise to us, has commanded us, under pain of damnation, to hope for it through His mercy. He even willed to purchase it at the cost of His Blood, and His Death, that so He might obtain that great blessedness for us; and to assure us of it the more, He has been pleased to give us a pledge of it in the gift of Himself to us in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar.

If our weakness terrifies us, let us fortify our hope by the same goodness of our Lord, Who, after having given us His merits to entitle us to Paradise, will likewise give us the strength to persevere in His grace even to our life’s end, if we have recourse to His mercy, and pray to Him for that strength and perseverance.

The holy Mother Teresa used to say:

“Let your desire be to see God; your fear, to lose Him; your joy, whatever can bring you to Him.”

Burning with the desire of seeing God, the Saint composed her famous “Canticle,” “I die because I cannot die!” and on this text she wrote many beautiful stanzas, of which the following are two:

Ah, Lord, my Light, and living Breath!
Take me, Oh, take me from this death,
And burst the bars that sever me
From my true Life above:
Think how I die, Thy face to see,
And cannot live away from Thee,
O my eternal Love!
And ever, ever weep and sigh,
Dying because I cannot die.I weary of this endless strife;
I weary of this dying life–
This living death — this heavy chain;
This torment of delay,
In which her sins my soul detain;
Ah, when shall it be mine? Ah, when,
With my last breath to say–
“No more I weep — no more I sigh!
I’m dying of desire to die.”


Ye angels most inflamed
With fires of heavenly love,
Bright Seraphim, descend
From your high thrones above;
To this most chosen soul
Your loving succor bring —
To her, the spouse belov’d
Of Christ your God and King.Jesus, your Love, your Life,
Who loves the pure of heart,
Has pierced Teresa’s soul
With love’s own flaming dart;
And lo! she pines away,
She languishes, she sighs;
For Him Who gave the wound,
Of very love she dies.


To see her loving Spouse
So fierce is her desire
That evermore she burns,
Consuming in its fire,
That sweet and longing wish
Into His arms to fly,
Is but a living death,
Because she cannot die.No angels come to aid;
Come Thou, Who in this breast
Hast kindled flames so dear,
Come Thou, and give her rest;
Sick is her soul with love,
And wounded is her heart;
Thou didst inflict the wound,
Then, Jesus, cure its smart.Thy spouse was ever true,
To please Thy Heart Divine,
All earth could give she left,
All she could give is Thine;
And now, she loves Thee well,
And sighs to come to Thee;
She longs to take her flight,
Ah! set her spirit free.

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