Moments of Love with Mary
– The Spiritual Letter Box –
I have read and meditated the issues of your review, especially that of October which seems to blueprint a life that can be better lived and better understood if only we begin it within ourselves by “interior reform”. Much profit can be drawn from the reading and the meditating of your texts, but putting it into practice is more difficult. I myself have had personal experience of this fact for some time now.
I am still young but for most of my life I have been sick and I have borne this the best I can. But it is clear that interior reform demands a great deal more. I have just arrived in a house where the occasions for humiliations are not lacking, and this is hard on me for I am, by nature, proud. But last week I finally understood that God is permitting this so that I will finally be “emptied of self”. I went to the chapel and I thanked Him for making me understand this. I also told Him that I accepted that He should strip me of my “self” even more, in order that every trace of pride should disappear, for a soul given to Mary cannot do good unless it is emptied of self, as you point out in your October issue. God knows how much I desire the extension of Mary’s reign.
You may be sure that my request was accepted. I have suffered in many ways; it has been one humiliation after another. I understood that it is this deep-rooted pride in me which God wants to destroy forever. This, moreover, is what I asked of Him. During this time of trial I sought my crucifix which I fervently kissed, and I repeated to the Lord that I accepted to be fixed to the cross with Him, that I accepted all these humiliations which I had received and those which I would receive, for I know they will come. And though they were so painful to human nature, I was happy to walk the path of my divine Spouse. What love, then, I felt for Him! I have really just discovered the grandeur and the beauty of the cross. My joy is deep, so deep! I would never have believed that anyone could experience such joy here upon earth, and that with the cross!
Sister M. E.
In your suffering you are able to sing your profound joy. A strange yet sublime paradox! Strange for those who do not possess faith, for those who do not accept to be stripped of their interior misery, who refuse to accept the salvific work of divine purification. Sublime for those who taste the happiness of a deeper possession of God, for to accept to decrease in oneself is to accept to see grow within oneself the life of the Trinity. This happiness of possessing the divine cannot be compared to any human joy so much does it surpass anything we could hope for here below.
Accepting the cross does not mean searching for it. In your case, the work of purification through humiliation seems quite far advanced. Your grasp of spirituality would indicate this, and your abandonment to these humiliations demonstrates a desire for the ascetic, which is to your credit.
These humiliations which have been laid upon you after your request do not, by that fact, mean that your spiritual terrain had not already been prepared. On the contrary, it is precisely because this terrain had been well cleared, well worked, by yourself, actively, that it was ready to be dug and harrowed to remove all the roots; work well done since you placed no obstacle or limitations in the way of divine action. When the Lord is given complete freedom to work in a soul, He goes to the very depths, but He knows how to reward the soul. Already, in your case, a deep happiness attaches you to Him and to His love. The more profoundly you are purified, the more you will love Him and the happier you will be. More and more you will learn to smile while the heart sighs; more and more you will know how to love truly when contempt is your lot; more and more you will feel free, light, detached even from the context of suffering, and one day you will be able to say in your turn: “My yoke is sweet and my burden light.”
Do not let up; learn how to pardon those acts which hurt you, forget what causes you sorrow; see only the hand of God which draws you ever closer to Him in detaching you from everything. And be sure that your interior happiness will always be far greater than the suffering exacted of you, for God never lets Himself be outdone in generosity.
During this period of passive purification, you must realize that God becomes your teacher. You will be given special graces and lights. It is unbelievable what the Lord can do in a soul which so abandons itself to Him. “He who has not suffered, what does he know?” – “Suffering opens to the soul horizons which reason cannot discern.” In truth, the horizons open and the soul “glimpses” the beauties of the Infinite and tastes the sweetness of a love which overflows. This soul is infused with an unutterable joy which is a balm to the suffering heart. Remain confident; may the Lord be your Confidant, your “only Love”.
(Review, “The Army of Mary”, volume I, no. 8)