Spiritual Formation (cont)
Feelings Of Anger And Desolation
Your feelings of anger are impulsive and depend on your fiery temperament and a bit because of your state of suffering. They are not sinful nor are you to be blamed because they precede reflection and deliberation. It would be a great thing to succeed in controlling oneself perfectly, but either because the soul must always find a reason to do violence to itself or so that an element of desolation persists, God does not grant us complete victory. Will you then give up? No, you will fight and moan hoping in the palm of victory and if it is never granted to you it will be wonderful to die sword in hand. God is not offended, indeed He is pleased to see resolute soldiers who are anxious to fight for his holy love. Make way for those flashes you mentioned. Light is not darkness, nor can something that inclines us to good and promotes it come from the evil spirit.
Temperance In Love
Your letter did not reach me and in fact only yesterday I was perplexed at your long silence; it was a mortification for both of us and wanted by Jesus.
Welcome the brief rays of divine radiance with an open heart but not avidly and as Saint Francis de Sales says you must drive away greed even in consolations of the spirit. Insist more on becoming a perfect holocaust for the One who did not spare Himself for your love. Be strong and enjoy being amongst the generous ones without pay so that the first embrace of the first Love will be more that of a Spouse than of our Lord.
And be firmly convinced that it is a matter of a special vocation, and not of abandonment or a severe punishment.
How could God reject you with your intimate desire of loving Him? He came to save sinners and would He reject someone who suffers at the very suspicion of not being faithful enough?
Direction, Anger, Tabor And Golgotha
You must not allow yourself to think that Jesus and I have abandoned you. This is a lie so leave it to the father of lies.
Do not attack the passion of resentment, but use persuasion. We conquer it more with reasoning than with violence. Instead of trying to suffocate it say calmly and gently: what is the point of an outburst? None; sooner or later things will have to go back to normal.
Anger has always been the friendly passion, or the least feared, even by divine lovers, and it has always been the last to cease agitating hearts. And then many times our Lord leaves it on purpose when the others have been silenced, to give something to fight against and as a reason to humiliate ourselves before Him.
I also often annoy my goldfinch and I am delighted to see him furious. Would you believe it, he has realized this and to amuse me he pretends to be angry.
Therefore when you lose your temper don't get discouraged. Pick it up as you would a skein of wool and say gently to Jesus: You see? I want to be patient with my impatience.
Can a spouse of God, a heart yearning for God, full of God, let herself be affected by surliness, bad humour and neglect from this poor world? Is not the understanding between you and the Infinite enough to cure you of their judgments, interpretations and the arguments of miserable creatures?
Divine affection always precedes trials and helps to sustain them.
The caresses of the Inexpressible predict the blows and the hardness of men and of events. Be pleased to be on Tabor as well as Golgotha. Enjoy seeing yourself at his side treated badly.
How dear is betrayed and embittered love.
If He loves you? If He belongs to you? Ah, heart of little faith! God surrounds and absorbs you in his infinite gentleness.
The voice you hear so clearly inside yourself "I am Love" is from Jesus, because it is the truth and truth can only come from Truth.
The last exhortation heard on 15 August is from Mary and worthy of her, reserved and modest Virgin.
Halts are to recuperate one's strength especially when wise and provident Love sometimes grants that the constant tempest is interrupted by silence and peace. This is the usual conduct of grace with spirits who are in the same state as yours.
My ardour is rejected by the closed arms of Jesus. What are you saying? Are you speaking of Jesus on Calvary or the spectre created for you by Satan? The real Jesus has his arms opened wide, stretched out and nailed; his chest is bare and lacerated, therefore there is free access and entry.
You would like to remove the veil of the screen that prevents you from seeing the vision of the Supreme God; veils, my daughter, are shaken with a simple breath; therefore heave a sigh.
Everything seems to be lost, while in fact everything is saved and to the glory and joy of the Father.
You are on the altar of sacrifice as a victim of expiation for others and for your own greater purification; that is the truth.
It is a secret but absolutely certain order of Providence that in mankind there are souls destined to repair his honour compromised by others, so that it cannot be said that He does not have some generous hearts who make up with their patient strength and love for the cowardly behaviour of so many slaves of the evil spirit. Job was chosen as scripture says to oppose the boast of Satan of having almost all the world in his power. And these heroes of patience are enough to force Satan to succumb to God and for God to be sufficiently glorified despite the great triumph of his adversary. And the Jobs of this world have perpetuated themselves and will exist until the end of the world. Indeed after the redemption they have multiplied marvelously with the grace of Jesus and the victories of the Almighty have grown indefinitely. But it is not just reparation to divine honour which requires these martyrs of faithfulness, but rather the good of our fellow creatures.
Just as roses make us forget the thorny bush on which they grow in the same way the elect almost make a barrier to the justice of the Father and graces continue to flow on the wicked world. And if we pick thorns with the roses it is so that sinners are accepted with the elect. Without this law God would leave sinners to their fate and we could not understand why those who do not even feel the need for mercy and do everything to provoke justice nevertheless receive mercy.
The sacrifice of Calvary is enough to convert everyone but it does not reveal the immense condescension of God who wants to associate his creatures with the work of salvation. Saint Paul affirmed this when he said: "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church..." — Col 1,24.
Peace, Punishment, Ecstasy
And with these thoughts in mind would you not be pleased with your sufferings? Consider yourself fortunate.
Continue to enjoy the peace of spirit granted you by our Lord and do not allow anything else to disturb you. There is not and never will be sufficient motive to cast a shadow over it. Infinite love, infinite peace, infinite joy dwells in tranquility.
I also hope and wait that in your sweet and childlike humility peace will grow and reach the lasting profound joy of complete union with the Beloved.
Accustom yourself to seeing God in everything, because nature is a reflection of God. Oh! How He sparkles, shines, dazzles and is radiant in the invisible and the visible.
How much power, wisdom, goodness, delicacy and elegance in everything!
But especially in Jesus, in his Heart. His Heart is three times paternal: in creation, in redemption, in communion.
Who gives his flesh and blood out of love?
Ecstasy is the usual consequence of warmly considering divine truths.
Lose yourself like a drop of water in the ocean.
Search For God
Do away with preoccupations, drive away sinister opinions: God is with you. The nagging fear of having lost Him is the certain evidence of his dwelling within you.
Your spirit seeks and does not find and therefore roars, writhes, yearns and falls back on itself exhausted without even calming down in its discouragement: but if it could see just for a moment the Beloved who is behind at the distance of an inch and could see the pleasure with which He observes your unsatisfied love, what joy it would be! And yet what a fervent wish to have Him always beside us veiled and hidden! Yes, because a strong and generous heart seeing how Love is happy to see these anxieties would not wish for anything else and would consume itself on the stake of perpetual desolation.
Look at the thorns on your head with the same pleasure as a mother would gaze upon a crown of jewels on the brow of a beloved daughter.
How beautiful it is to be indifferent to what happens to us leaving every care to the One who is love! What can a soul fear who is determined to belong to Him! Do as you like, arrange things as you think best, certainly we could not ask for more. Is this infallible truth not true? And in the meantime you fear, you complain, you are always anxious wanting what you wish for and ignoring what is better for you. You are too anxious, too preoccupied! You deserve Martha's reprimand: "Thou art anxious and troubled about many things. But continuing with the words of Jesus: "yet only one thing is needful." What is this only one needful thing? The decision to belong to Him. That is enough.
I hope you will live in God's arms, like a child in it's mother's arms.