THE PRACTICE OF THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST
“Charity hopeth all things.”
HE THAT LOVES JESUS CHRIST HOPES FOR ALL THINGS FROM HIM
The Lord God loves those who love Him: I love them that love me (Prov. viii. 17). He showers down His graces on those that seek Him by love: The Lord is good … to the soul that seeketh him (Lament. 25). Consequently, the soul that loves God most has the greatest hope in His goodness. This confidence produces that imperturbable tranquillity in the Saints which makes them always joyful and full of peace, even amid the severest trials; for their love of Jesus Christ, and the conviction they have of His liberality towards those who love Him, leads them to trust solely in Him; and thus they find a lasting repose. The sacred spouse abounded with delights, because she loved none but her Spouse, and leaned entirely on Him for support; and she was full of contentment, since she well knew how generous her Beloved is towards all that love Him; so that of her it is written: Who is this that cometh up from the desert, flowing with delights, leaning upon her beloved? (Cant. viii. 5). These words of the Wise Man are most true: All good things came to me together with her (Wis. vii. 11). With Charity all blessings are introduced into the soul.
The primary object of Christian Hope is God, Whom the soul enjoys in the Kingdom of Heaven. But we must not suppose that the hope of enjoying God in Paradise is any obstacle to Charity; since the hope of Paradise is inseparably connected with Charity, which there receives its full and complete perfection. Charity is that infinite treasure, spoken of by the Wise Man, which makes us the friends of God: An infinite treasure to men, which they that use become the friends of God (Wis. vii. 14). The angelic Doctor, St. Thomas, says that friendship is founded on the mutual communication of goods; for as friendship is nothing more than a mutual love between friends, it follows that there must be a reciprocal interchange of the goods which each possesses. Hence the Saint says: “If there be no communication, there is no friendship.” On this account Jesus Christ says to His disciples:
I have called you friends, because all things whatsoever I have heard of my Father I have made known to you (Jo. xv. 15). Since He had made them His friends, He had communicated all His secrets to them.