Moments of Love with Mary
– The Spiritual Letter Box –
A Crystal-Clear Soul
During a meeting of the Army of Mary at the Center of the Immaculate in Quebec City, you spoke to us of the beauty of a soul that is as pure as crystal, and you made some comparisons which I deeply appreciated. I wanted to pass on these same explanations to my grown-up children but I am missing some details.
In the past, our parents and the priests often spoke to us of purity and chastity; this was necessary to keep us on the right track. Today, there is silence. On the other hand, so many people are heard speaking of sex which they describe as being a priority in life. We hear sex spoken of everywhere, to the point where it is nauseating, as if we were no longer able to live without it. Sex is now so much “under our skin”, and there is so much of it on posters, in magazines, on television and in movies that we are saturated by it. In our poor world, we must choose our friends, some of whom never stop recounting all kinds of adventures or orgies. In order to have tranquillity of mind, we must break off certain friendships, eliminate business outings, otherwise we begin to breathe the unhealthy and corrupt air of human folly.
I am not a scrupulous person; I love life and fun, but I like a clean life. I appreciate those who respect themselves and who respect me. It seems to me that it is still possible to have fun without falling into vulgarity, the burlesque or stupidity.
I have children who are growing up, three boys and two girls. Along with my wife, we have sought to give them the best of ourselves, but what a disappointment sometimes awaits us when they leave us to pursue their studies, for they have confidence in us and tell us things which make our hair stand on end!
I have read much of Raoul Auclair’s writings. He explains quite clearly the time of iniquity in which we are living. Like him, I think that the world is no longer aware of its sin. Moreover, there is no longer any mention of it. Dark times! For parents concerned over the future of their children, there is so much anguish, so many worries. We never thought we would live to see such upheavals in our Catholic province of Quebec.
How can we teach our children again that chastity is a virtue to be practised? Who speaks of it today? And yet, everyone talks of “AIDS” and many live in the fear of being infected one day or another. It is a funny world we live in which no longer knows the proper values and is being swept away more and more in a dizzying descent.
Fortunately, certain groups, although greatly ridiculed, do not hesitate to speak to us of sound doctrine. We are happy to be a part of them.
A father concerned over his children’s future
In a period of great confusion, it is not uncommon to meet parents who are concerned over an uncertain future, who search for the voice of the Shepherd of shepherds in order to hear again what was formerly taught, that is to say, the Gospel in all its purity, and through which the breath of God passes.
Fortunately, God never abandons His flock and there are still pastors who have persevered in prayer, remained faithful to the teaching of the Church, the Councils and the Popes and who, with the grace of God, transmit His Word in all its integrity.
You have read Raoul Auclair’s works and so you are sensitive to the “signs of the times” and open to an understanding of the Apocalypse or of Revelation, the explanations of which draw their force and authenticity from the very words of the Bible. We must be attentive, for any prophecy opens and is understood at the time of its fulfillment. God has revealed everything to us, but when the time for its realization comes, He intervenes again and gives the necessary lights for His project of love to be properly accepted in spite of the darkness of the times. The deposit of revelation, entrusted to the Church, and its progressive explanation, do not, for all that, limit God’s freedom, as He reserves the right to still speak to men to reveal specific truths to them.
However, in order to see clearly in the light that pours forth and to understand well what God wishes to make known to us in very specific times which He Himself has set, we must, like Mary Immaculate, our Mother and our model, maintain a pure soul open to grace, for the soul under God’s light discovers more easily the demands of divine purity. That involves, of course, the practice of the virtues of poverty, chastity, charity, humility, detachment, etc. in an energetic asceticism that is adapted and progressive until it attains the absolute. We must not think that we will progress without difficulties, for we must embrace the cross which is the mark or the sign of God in us, of God to whom we have given our will in complete freedom: “If a man wishes to come after me, he must deny his very self, take up his cross and begin to follow in my footsteps.” (Mt 16:24)
We spoke, in fact, of the beauty of a soul that is as pure as crystal, and we know all the demands and self-denials this exact of us.
Through baptism, through the holy water poured on the forehead of a newborn, grace enters into the soul that is born to eternal life. Is there a Christian mother who has not felt her love being spiritualized when she kissed her little baby? Can she forget the ineffable impression of giving to God a new soul in which the Trinity delights? The baptismal innocence, what a charm! The inexpressible mystery of grace entering into this child. And if that child maintains this deposit of purity, this radiance, as it grows up, what a favor, what an inestimable treasure! “Let the little children come to me,” Jesus said, for He wished to communicate the divine love to them. If, as the child is growing up, it keeps its innocence, it is associated with God, with His grace, His influence.
To illustrate the beauty of a soul in a state of grace, let us compare it to a crystal vase that we can fill with clean water; the beauty of the vase will not be altered. However, in order to fill the vase, it must be empty. The same is true with us. We must be detached from everything, empty of our self in order to be filled with God.
Since we are not perfect, venial sins may lessen the beauty of our soul, and even more so mortal sins. This would be like throwing mud into the vase; then the crystal would lose all its brilliance. The mud can be cleaned away with water; similarly, the soul can be regenerated through the “water” of the grace given us by the sacrament of penance. Then, the soul becomes white again; it is crystalized if it remains in purity.
The crystal must be polished in order for it to stay smooth and pleasant to look at. The soul, in order to be pleasing to the Lord, must be polished through all kinds of purifications. The mystery surrounding the call and the progress of souls does not allow us to detect God’s plan for each one. The divine action always waits for a generous response that will bring about a love that is increasingly purified and which God will be able to enlighten, transform, in order to definitely unite Himself with this soul.
Now, if a strong light is projected upon crystal, it will shine with sparkles in all kinds of colors. What about the soul that radiates the divine Presence in it? The reign of love is in its soul. It is a deep union, the docile soul being assimilated in God. And then there is fecundity, for the soul is given over to God’s plan, as He acts through it. “You will recognize them by their fruit.” That is the sign God gives to His servants.
Saint Teresa of Avila gave a very good explanation of the life of the soul which she compared to a castle cut out of a diamond or made of crystal. The thought came to me, as I replied to your letter, to prepare a résumé of the account of her remarkable life. A controversial woman, she ignored the insults and remained attached to the will of Him whom she loved with all her heart.
(Paper “Le Royaume”, no. 55)