20 May 2010

Live in the Solitude of Your Soul

Much of this post is from the lips of the Blessed Virgin herself. She speaks to us as a Mother to her children, lovingly instructing us how to live in this life, so as to be prepared for the next. This includes a lesson on the rewards of controlling the senses and who to choose as friends. While a vow of chastity, as mentioned in this post by Our Blessed Mother, is reserved for those in religious life, everyone is called to chastity by living a life of virtue. Marie d’Agreda (pictured here), who was the recipient of Our Lady’s messages in much of this post, was a seventeenth-century discalced Franciscan nun from Spain. She was a mystic and visionary who frequently experienced ecstasies after receiving the sacraments of the Church.

One of our early [Carthusian] Fathers, when begging Our Lady to watch over our Order, received the reply: ‘I shall love the Carthusians as long as they begin and end the day with my praises. So long as they are faithful to this pact, my Son will give them the grace to persevere. Should there be any so unfortunate as to sully the reputation of the Order by grave faults, either they will repent of their sin or they will leave the Order’ (Nicholas Molin: Historia Cartusiana, Vol. I, Tournai, 1903).

It is our duty to watch, then, and pray in order that we may preserve in all its purity the lily which we have offered to the Queen of virgins. For that there is no more practical way than to profit by the counsel given by our heavenly Mother to Marie d’Agreda when she told her: ‘The vow of chastity comprises purity both of body and soul. Now this precious treasure is preserved in a castle which has many doors and windows. If these are not guarded or adequately defended, there will always be danger. You will only observe this vow faithfully, my daughter’, she added, ‘if you make an irrevocable covenant with your senses, to use them only according to the requirements for reason and for the glory of your Creator. Once the senses are dead or mastered, it will be easy for you to gain the victory overy those enemies that cannot get the better of you without their co-operation. For thoughts will not present themselves nor return again and again, unless the images of visible things have already entered by means of the external senses, and so give rise to them. Live in the solitude of your soul, like one who is not of this world – poor, mortified, wearied maybe, accepting the bitter things of this life, seeking neither rest nor consolation. Look upon yourself as a stranger in a foreign land, brought there to toil and struggle against powerful enemies. The flesh is, as you are well aware, your most implacable enemy. You must make every possible effort to live down your evil passions, and to resist the temptations of the devil. Rise above yourself; live in your higher self, in the shadow of God Who is the object of all your desires: under His protection you will enjoy a true peace. Give yourself entirely to His pure and holy love, and see in creatures only those who can help you and make it easy for you to love and serve your Lord’.

Above all, never fail to have recourse to the Virgin of virgins in the hour of temptation. Just as the vine in flower, according to Saint Alphonsus, puts to flight serpents, so does the name of Mary force back the legions of hell.