20 April 2011

Refuse God Nothing

If there was ever a week to meditate on the Cross of our Lord and Saviour, and in turn reflect on our own crosses and how we carry them, with Christ as our Model and our Goal, this week is it. The Carthusian Dom Augustin Guillerand wrote:

We are not fond of suffering, and, in one sense, we are right. We are made for happiness, and it should be the dream of our hearts, the aim of our existence. We are not wrong to seek happiness, but we are wrong to seek it along wrong paths.

Where are we to find it? In God alone! He is that mysterious Reality for Whom we long in all that we desire, in all that we do. He hides Himself in the depth of all created things, from which we ask happiness, and which cannot give it to us. They are the veil which hides the infinite beauty of His Face, and we suffer because we stop at that veil, instead of passing beyond it. When we pass beyond the veil and meet the Reality which is behind it all, then we are consoled, and our joy is full.

All love is born of the love of the Father and of the Son. With Jesus, charity and peace met again on earth, and their first-born, joy, flourished anew in souls rejuvenated and consoled.

May all our hours of sacrifice find their fulfillment in union with the Sacrifice of our Leader, and draw from that union the secret and rapturous joy of the gift of self. No trial is too heavy to be borne, once we possess the hope of eventual union with infinite Joy. All sorrow lit up by the divine sorrow takes on an aspect of joy, and the greatest suffering then becomes the greatest happiness.

You have done well to expose your difficulties. By doing so, you have freed your soul, and that is already something. Often that is all we can do in this life, and we must be content with that. It is good to know how to do so from time to time.

Do not be too distressed over your short-comings, nor with the difficulty you experience in overcoming them. I have a feeling that the imperfections you speak of are nothing more than those miseries of which someone has said that if we had none to begin with, we should lose no time in ‘buying’ them. . . Since we are living in hard times, here at least is something you can purchase over the counter!

Examine yourself from time to time, but quietly and with liberty of spirit, to whether there is not some special point on which God is asking you to make an effort which so far you have refused Him. If there is, try to connect yourself on that point; if there is not, remain at peace and continue to accept not being today what you will have to be tomorrow. Life is a growth, slow and imperceptible. We will not hurry matters by constantly watching the progress we are making. You have within you and interior Master, Who will tell you what to do and what not to do. Be guided by Him. Be as faithful as you can to the indications He gives you, and wait with confidence and calm the realization of a design of love which He will bring about, if you do not hinder Him, and which He wants to bring to a happy consummation even more than you.

Defects are never a danger, provided we are aware of them, and take them in hand. The danger is rather in not facing them, or in wanting to pass them over without bothering about them. It is a delusion to want to press forward to new conquests, before we have overcome the enemies behind us.

God asks of us all that we have, nothing more. That is why we must look at what we give God, because often we have nothing to give Him, or practically nothing. Sometimes we have only our misery to offer Him; but He does not mind, so long as we refuse Him nothing.