RESOLUTION TO GIVE ONESELF WHOLLY TO GOD
St. Teresa herself practised earnestly what she taught to others. When she was called to give herself wholly to God, she gave herself to Him without reserve, and with so strong a resolution, that to oblige herself to search out whatever might give the most pleasure to her Beloved, she went so far as to bind herself by that sublime vow, at which the Saints have been filled with astonishment, and which is styled by the sacred tribunal of the Rota, “a very difficult vow,” always to do what she understood to be the most perfect. Herein Teresa exhibits to us the courage and the resolution with which she aimed at the highest perfection to which a soul upon earth can attain, in order that she might please God to the utmost of her power.
Let our resolution, then, be to aim with sincere desire at the highest sanctity, as our Saint did, and to resolve to give ourselves wholly to God, studying to advance every day farther and farther towards perfection.
A great servant of God, Father Hyppolito Durazzo, of the Society of Jesus, used with good reason to say, as we read in his Life, that men of the world never think that they have enough of the good things of this world, and are always endeavouring to possess more; but with respect to the next they say: “The smallest corner of Paradise will do.” Whereas, on the contrary, he who truly loves God and not the world, will be contented with the least corner of the earth; but for the good things of Heaven he will always to be striving more and more without ever resting. This good Father used also to say that “to become a saint one needs nothing but what is to be obtained through the sole desire of pleasing God.”
After the desire is formed, one must then most firmly resolve to give oneself to God without reserve. God has already given us this desire. This desire is His voice distinctly speaking to us and calling us to His love. He has already called us very many times, and why are we hesitating? Do we wish to wait until He ceases to call us, and He abandons us? Now is the time for putting an end, once for all, to our hesitations, and for renouncing everything that is not for God. It is not a time for prolonging our resistance to the love of that Lord Who alone deserves to be loved. We must, then, break every earthly attachment that hinders us from belonging entirely to God. Resolution! resolution! God! God alone! And nothing else!
And Thou, O my Lord, tell me what it is that Thou dost look for from me in bestowing upon me so many graces! Ah! I understand Thee — I understand Thee, my Treasure, my All, my true Lover! Since Thou lovest me greatly, Thou dost wish me to love Thee greatly, and to become all Thine. Thou dost wish that my heart may be no longer divided, but that its whole attention may be devoted to loving Thee alone. Yes, Thee alone. But, in truth, if Thou art the only one that deserves to be loved, it is no more than just that Thou only be loved by me and by all mankind. Since, then, O my Beloved, Thou dost inspire me with this desire of loving Thee, so overrule me that I may put it in practice, and may love Thee as much as Thou desirest. If Thou wilt have my heart, behold, here it is. I take it from the love of creatures to give it wholly to Thee. If Thou dost wish me to desire and to ask for Thy love, yea, my God, I ask it of Thee, and I desire to love Thee more than even the Seraphim do. Hearken to my prayer. I ask this of Thee, not in order to become distinguished amongst the Saints, nor to gain a high degree of glory in Paradise, but only in order to be pleasing in Thy sight. Provided that I may love Thee the more, I even offer myself to suffer pain of every description, and for all eternity, if such be Thy good pleasure. Hearken to me my Lord, for the love of Jesus Christ, and for the love of St. Teresa.
O blessed and holy Virgin Mary, thou art my hope; I hope for all good things through thee.