She will live the life of God

Feast of Saint John of the Cross
Poem of the Day

From the Romance on the Incarnation 

3. On creation

“My Son, I wish to give you
a bride who will love you.
Because of you she will deserve
to share our company,
and eat at our table,
the same bread I eat,
that she may know the good
I have in such a Son;
and rejoice with me
in your grace and fullness.”

“I am very grateful,”
the Son answered;
“I will show my brightness
to the bride you give me,
so that by it she may see
how great my Father is,
and how I have received
my being from your being.

I will hold her in my arms
and she will burn with your love,
and with eternal delight
she will exalt your goodness”.

4. Continues

“Let it be done, then,” said the Father,
for your love has deserved it.

And by these words
the world was created,
a palace for the bride
made with great wisdom
and divided into rooms,
one above, the other below.

The lower was furnished
with infinite variety,
while the higher was made
beautiful
with marvelous jewels,
that the bride might know
the Bridegroom she had.

The orders of angels
were placed in the higher,
but humanity was given
the lower place,
for it was, in its being,
a lesser thing.

And though beings and places
were divided in this way,
yet all form one,
who is called the bride;
for love of the same Bridegroom
made one bride of them.

Those higher ones possessed
the Bridegroom in gladness;
the lower in hope, founded
on the faith that he infused in them,
telling them that one day
he would exalt them,
and that he would lift them
up from their lowness
so that no one
could mock it any more;
for he would make himself
wholly like them,
and he would come to them
and dwell with them;
and God would be man
and man would be God,
and he would walk with them
and eat and drink with them;
and he himself would be
with them continually
until the consummation
of this world,
when, joined, they would rejoice
in eternal song;
for he was the Head
of this bride of his
to whom all the members
of the just would be joined,
who form the body of the bride.

He would take her
tenderly in his arms
and there give her his love;
and when they were thus one,
he would lift her to the Father
where God’s very joy
would be her joy.

For as the Father and the Son
and he who proceeds from them
live in one another,
so it would be with the bride;
for, taken wholly into God,
she will live the life of God.

To be praises of glory

The very first
Feast of Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

41. “We have been predestined by the decree of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we may be the praise of His glory.

It is Saint Paul who tells us this, Saint Paul who was instructed by God Himself. How do we realize this great dream of the Heart of our God, this immutable will for our souls? In a word, how do we correspond to our vocation and become perfect Praises of Glory of the Most Holy Trinity?

42. “In Heaven” each soul is a praise of glory of the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, for each soul is established in pure love and “lives no longer its own life, but the life of God.” Then it knows Him, Saint Paul says, as it is known by Him. In other words “its intellect is the intellect of God, its will the will of God, its love the very love of God. In reality it is the Spirit of love and of strength who transforms the soul, for to Him it has been given to supply what is lacking to the soul,” as Saint Paul says again. “He works in it this glorious transformation.” Saint John of the Cross affirms that “the soul surrendered to love, through the strength of the Holy Spirit, is not far from being raised to the degree of which we have just spoken,” even here below! This is what I call a perfect praise of glory!

43. A praise of glory is a soul that lives in God, that loves Him with a pure and disinterested love, without seeking itself in the sweetness of this love; that loves Him beyond all His gifts and even though it would not have received anything from Him, it desires the good of the Object thus loved. Now how do we effectively desire and will good to God if not in accomplishing His will since this will orders everything for His greater glory? Thus the soul must surrender itself to this will completely, passionately, so as to will nothing else but what God wills.

A praise of glory is a soul of silence that remains like a lyre under the mysterious touch of the Holy Spirit so that He may draw from it divine harmonies; it knows that suffering is a string that produces still more beautiful sounds; so it loves to see this string on its instrument that it may more delightfully move the Heart of its God.

A praise of glory is a soul that gazes on God in faith and simplicity; it is a reflector of all that He is; it is like a bottomless abyss into which He can flow and expand; it is also like a crystal through which He can radiate and contemplate all His perfections and His own splendor. A soul which thus permits the divine Being to satisfy in itself His need to communicate “all that He is and all that He has,” is in reality the praise of glory of all His gifts.

Finally, a praise of glory is one who is always giving thanks. Each of her acts, her movements, her thoughts, her aspirations, at the same time that they are rooting her more deeply in love, are like an echo of the eternal Sanctus.

44. In the Heaven of glory the blessed have no rest “day or night, saying: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty….They fall down and worship Him who lives forever and ever….”

In the heaven of her soul, the praise of glory has already begun her work of eternity. Her song is uninterrupted, for she is under the action of the Holy Spirit who effects everything in her; and although she is not always aware of it, for the weakness of nature does not allow her to be established in God without distractions, she always sings, she always adores, for she has, so to speak, wholly passed into praise and love in her passion for the glory of her God. In the heave of our soul let us be praises of glory of the Holy Trinity, praises of love of our Immaculate Mother. One day the veil will fall, we will be introduced into the eternal courts, and there we will sing in the bosom of infinite Love. And God will give us “the new name promised to the Victor.” What will it be?

— Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, Heaven in Faith, Tenth Day, Second Prayer

 

To stand directly before God

All Souls Day

Scripture of the Day: Wisdom 3:1–9

The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

Quote of the Day

I would go so far as to say that if there was no purgatory, then we would have to invent it, for who would dare say of himself that he was able to stand directly before God.  And yet we don’t want to be, to use an image from Scripture, “a pot that turned out wrong,” that has to be thrown away; we want to be able to be put right.

Purgatory basically means that God can put the pieces back together again.  That he can cleanse us in such a way that we are able to be with him and can stand there in the fullness of life.  Purgatory strips off from one person what is unbearable and from another the inability to bear certain things, so that in each of them a pure heart is revealed, and we can see that we all belong together in one enormous symphony of being.

— Pope Benedict XVI, “The Role of Purgatory,” God and the World: Believing and Living in Our Time (Ignatius Press, 2002)

Prayer of the Day

Heavenly Father,
I believe that in Your wisdom and justice
You willed to purify all persons who die
without having attained the state that they need
for all eternity,
all who have still to expiate completely
the sins committed on earth.
I also believe that You have mercifully arranged
that this process of purification can be aided
by the prayers of the living,
and especially by the Eucharist.

Help me to pray for my brothers and sisters
who have departed from this world.
May their time of purification be short
and they be quickly guided into that holy light
promised by our Lord to Abraham and his descendants.
I offer You sacrifices and prayers of praise.
Accept them for all the souls of the faithful departed
and admit them all to the eternal joy of heaven.

— New Saint Joseph People’s Prayer Book, #1348 (Catholic Book Publishing)

To become saints

Quotes for All Saints Day

To become saints means to fulfill completely what we already are, raised to the dignity of God’s adopted children in Christ Jesus.

The saints bring to light in a creative fashion quite new human potentialities.

The saints are themselves the living spaces into which one can turn.

There is no isolation in heaven. It is the open society of the saints and, consequently, also the fulfillment of all human togetherness.

One might say that the saints are, so to speak, new Christian constellations, in which the richness of God’s goodness is reflected. Their light, coming from God, enables us to know better the interior richness of God’s great light.

Nothing can bring us into close contact with the beauty of Christ himself other than the world of beauty created by faith and light that shines out from the faces of the saints, through whom his own light becomes visible.

— Pope Benedict XVI

Sources:

  • Let God’s Light Shine Forth: The Spiritual Vision of Pope Benedict XVI (edited by Robert Moynihan)
  • Spirit of the Liturgy by Jospeh Cardinal Ratzinger (2000)
  • Eschatology — Death and Eternal Life by Joseph Ratzinger (1988)

To become people of prayer

Prayer Transforms Us

This past summer, and as we progress into fall, as Election Day draws nigh, it has been and continues to be all too easy, especially for passionate people, to lose ground and our sense of reality by watching or engaging too much with “mainstream” media, social media, or otherwise. Only by being people of prayer and through meditation on scripture will we be rooted in truth and able to persevere as the drama that surrounds us unfolds, and the very real, mostly unseen, spiritual battle is fought.

  • May we not be men and women with divided hearts, who claim one thing in public, and another in private.
  • May God’s love for and mercy toward us pervade our entire lives, all we say and do, when other people are watching, and when it is only God who sees.
  • May God transform us through our faithfulness to daily prayer. As God shapes us into the image and likeness of his Son, Jesus, may we then transform our world.

Prayer of Day

Mary, mother of Jesus
and of those who participate in his priestly ministry,
we come to you with the same attitude of children who come to their mother.

We are no longer children,
but adults who desire with all our hearts to be God’s children.

Our human condition is weak,
that is why we come to ask for your motherly aid
so we are able to overcome our weakness.

Pay for us so that we can, in turn, become people of prayer.

We invoke your protection
so that we may remain free from all sin.

We invoke your love so that it may reign and
we will be able to be compassionate and forgiving.

We ask for your blessing
so we can be like the image of your beloved Son,
our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

— Saint Mother Teresa, In My Own Words, Ligouri Publications, 1989

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The Love of the Lord

Feast of Saint Faustina
God’s Secretary and Apostle of Divine Mercy

Everlasting love, pure flame, burn in my heart ceaselessly and deify my whole being, according to Your infinite pleasure by which You summoned me into existence and called me to take part in Your everlasting happiness.

O merciful Lord, it is only out of mercy that You have lavished these gifts upon me. Seeing all these free gifts within me, with deep humility I worship Your incomprehensible goodness.

Lord, my heart is filled with amazement that You, absolute Lord, in need of no one, would nevertheless stoop so low out of pure love for us.

I can never help being amazed that the Lord would have such an intimate relationship with his creatures. That again is His unfathomable goodness. Every time I begin this meditation, I never finish it, because my spirit becomes entirely drowned in Him.

What a delight it is to love with all the force of one’s soul and to be loved even more in return, to feel and experience this with the full consciousness of one’s being.

There are no words to express this.

Diary of Saint Faustina: Divine Mercy in My Soul # 1523

Trust in Him who is Virtue and Holiness

Feast of Saint Therese of Lisieux
The Little Flower’s Bold Confidence in God

I wasn’t too good at playing games, but I did love reading very much and would have spent my life at it. I had human angels, fortunately for me, to guide me in the choice of the books which, while being entertaining, nourished both my heart and my mind. And I was not to go beyond a certain time in my reading, which was the cause of great sacrifices to me as I had to interrupt my reading very often at the most enticing passage. This attraction for reading lasted until my entrance into Carmel. To state the number of books would be impossible, but never did God permit me to read a single one of them that was capable of doing me any harm. It is true that in reading certain tales of chivalry, I didn’t always understand the realities of life; but soon God made me feel that true glory is that which will last eternally, and to reach it, it isn’t necessary to perform striking works but to hide oneself and practice virtue in such a way that the left hand knows not what the right is doing.

When reading the accounts of the patriotic deeds of French heroines, especially the Venerable JOAN OF ARC, I had a great desire to imitate them; and it seemed I felt within me the same burning zeal with which they were animated, the same heavenly inspiration. Then I received a grace which I have always looked upon as one of the greatest in my life because at that age I wasn’t receiving the lights I’m now receiving when I am flooded with them. I considered that I was born for glory and when I searched out the means of attaining it, God inspired in me the sentiments I have just described. He made me understand my own glory would not be evident to the eyes of mortals, that it would consist of becoming a great saint! This desire would certainly appear daring if one were to consider how weak and imperfect I was, and how, after seven years in the religious life, I still am weak and imperfect. I always feel, however, the same bold confidence of becoming a great saint because I don’t count on my merits since I have none, but I trust in Him who is Virtue and Holiness. God alone, content with my weak efforts, will raise me to Himself and make me a saint, clothing me in His infinite merits. I didn’t think then that one had to suffer very much to reach sanctity, but God was not long in showing me this was so and in sending me trials I have already mentioned.

— Saint Therese of Lisieux, Story of a Soul, Manuscript A, Chapter IV

Mother Teresa’s 1959 retreat – 13

Thirteenth Day
Under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cause of our joy

Aim: To put myself in the right dispositions for my final offering

Examination: Am I ready to make this final offering with real love and complete surrender?

Take and receive, O Lord, my liberty
Take all my will, my mind, my memory.

All things I have, and all I own are Thine;
Thine was the gift, to Thee I all resign.

Do Thou direct and govern all and sway,
Do what Thou will, command and I obey,

Only Thy grace, Thy love on me bestow
Possessing these, all riches I forgo. Amen

— Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Readings: Saint Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 7, verses 36 to 50; Chapter 15, verse 11 to 32

The Imitation of Christ: Book 3, Chapter 10

Reflection of the Day: Let me have full confidence in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Cause of our Joy

 

Note: The next and last page of Mother Teresa’s retreat notes are missing. (Notes from Day 7 are also missing.)

Mother Teresa’s 1959 retreat – 12

Twelfth Day
Under the patronage of Mary, Queen of Heaven

Aim: Union with the Risen Jesus in His Great Glory; to acquire a great confidence in the goodness and greatness of my Redeemer

Examination: My Love for the Church

  1. Do I really look upon the Church as the “Mystical Body of Christ”?
  2. Do I burn with zeal to make the Church known and loved by all men?
  3. Do I try to conform my judgments with the directions given by the Church through the Encyclicals, Pastoral Letters, Directions, etc.?

Readings: Psalm 65; Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20 & 21

The Imitation of Christ: Book 3, Chapter 49

Reflections of the Day:

Joy to thee, O Queen of Heaven
He whom thou was meet to bear
As He promised, hath arisen
Pour for us to Him thy prayer.

When we stand sooner or later at his judgment seat, the questions put to us will be:

What have you done?
How have you done it?
Why did you do it?

Mother Teresa’s 1959 retreat – 11

Eleventh Day
With Mary, the Mother of Sorrows

Aim: To spend the day in union with the sorrow of Jesus and Mary in order to strengthen my resolutions

Examination: My desire to die to the world and to self love

  1. Do I keep my Rule No. 88? This rule tells me to love with humility so earnestly that I may accept humiliation readily, even with joy?
  2. Do I receive correction and admonition in the spirit of faith without excuse or complaint?
  3. Am I ready to accept suffering out of love for Jesus and Mary?

Readings: Isaiah 53; any passage from the Passion of Christ (New Testament)

The Imitation of Christ: Book 3, Chapter 19

Reflection of the Day:
“O my people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me! I led you out of Egypt, from slavery to freedom, but you have led your Savior to the cross.”
(from hymn “Reproaches,” based on Micah 6, sung for veneration of the Cross during Good Friday liturgy)

Rule 88: Let them love humility so earnestly that they may accept humiliation readily, and even with joy. Therefore they shall receive correction and admonition in the spirit of Faith without excuse or complaint.