If Christ Jesus dwells in a man as his friend and noble leader, that man can endure all things, for Christ helps and strengthens us and never abandons us. He is a true friend. And I clearly see that if we expect to please him and receive an abundance of his graces, God desires that these graces must come to us from the hands of Christ, through his most sacred humanity, in which God takes delight.
Many, many times I have perceived this through experience. The Lord has told it to me. I have definitely seen that we must enter by this gate if we wish his Sovereign Majesty to reveal to us great and hidden mysteries. A person should desire no other path, even if he is at the summit of contemplation; on this road he walks safely. All blessings come to us through our Lord. He will teach us, for in beholding his life we find that he is the best example.
What more do we desire from such a good friend at our side? Unlike our friends in the world, he will never abandon us when we are troubled or distressed. Blessed is the one who truly loves him and always keeps him near. Let us consider the glorious Saint Paul: it seems that no other name fell from his lips than that of Jesus, because the name of Jesus was fixed and embedded in his heart. Once I had come to understand this truth, I carefully considered the lives of some of the saints, the great contemplatives, and found that they took no other path: Francis, Anthony of Padua, Bernard, Catherine of Siena. A person must walk along this path in freedom, placing himself in God’s hands. If God should desire to raise us to the position of one who is an intimate and shares his secrets, we ought to accept this gladly.
Whenever we think of Christ we should recall the love that led him to bestow on us so many graces and favours, and also the great love God showed in giving us in Christ a pledge of his love; for love calls for love in return. Let us strive to keep this always before our eyes and to rouse ourselves to love him. For if at some time the Lord should grant us the grace of impressing his love on our hearts, all will become easy for us and we shall accomplish great things quickly and without effort.
At Easter, we see the Resurrected Lord and are bathed in the Light of His conquering Love. The Church places Jesus before the eyes of our hearts. It is precisely because, only a few days ago, we beheld His pain and suffering, His Love unto Death, that we can grasp the triumph of His Love, this Agape.
Carmel is a reminder that Love must be lived to be authentic. Not that we can live it with perfection, though that is the Call, but that we try day by day in all humility. For me, it is always beginning anew. Repentance prepares us and faith enables us.
“We are at Carmel only for this: to love!To love, of course, requires that we give proof of our love. This love expresses itself in constant prayer. I say “constant,” because this state of prayer must be our life not for only two hours a day, but all day long. Our life must be a constant, silent prayer that rises unceasingly to God. That is what constitutes our duty in life.We must not confuse this state of prayer with religious sentimentality, or with pious feelings unrelated to authentic prayer, which can sometimes be piercingly painful. That love, which is our life’s duty, must express itself in vibrant, zealous deeds, all aspects of which compel our careful consideration.Only with deepest humility can we recognize how far we are from our goal. Only those souls who have attained a lofty level of holiness can truly acknowledge how far they still are from their total fulfillment. For example, the Cure of Ars considered himself more wretched than the notorious sinners to whom he ministered. He realized that many of these fallen souls, had they received the same graces that he had received, would perhaps surpass him in holiness. Only with humility can we recognize the torpor of our love.Prayer is our primary duty. Prayer is the reason why God has placed us on earth. We learn truly to prayer, when we are in the presence and company of Christ. Therefore, we must contemplate Christ for long periods of a time and seek him our persistently. Consider those closest to Christ. Saint John the Apostle grasped what was indispensable for a clear understanding of his master. John never tired of probing and querying Christ. We can see how John thus gained richer insights and fuller explanations, precisely because he went to the bother of approaching and asking Christ to clarify each day’s lesson. I picture John, walking close behind Christ, as he made his way about the Holy Land. Thus, John came to gain a wealth of intimate knowledge, which the other apostles did not acquire. Herein lies the explanation for the special character of the fourth Gospel. While the other apostles traveled across the then known world on their missionary journeys, John’s unique apostolate was to remain close to the Virgin Mary, whom Christ had entrusted to him. Thus were these two great souls conjoined in love and prayer”.In silent solitude, let us seek to realize that we truly can be in contact with God. It is God whom we should aim to encounter in prayer. It is God who is both the breath and the fulfillment of our life. Amen.”