O God, who planted a garden in Eden, you have planted your Church beside the stream of living water flowing from the side of Christ crucified. Pour out upon us the Spirit of wisdom, so that we may choose to die to self in order to live in Christ. Thus make us grow through our Lenten observance so that we may bear abundant fruit at Easter, through the same Christ our Lord Amen.
Archive for February 23, 2012
It is necessary to mention here a great deception that often befalls those who begin to serve God. Sometimes they read in spiritual books how great are the consolations of the Holy Spirit and how sweet charity is and they think that the whole path to perfection is filled with delights and that there is no effort or fatigue involved. As a result, they prepare themselves for it as for something easy and pleasant and do not arm themselves for entering battle. They do not realise that while the love of God is in itself very sweet and delectable, the way to perfect charity is arduous, because to attain it, one must completely conquer self-love, and this involves a constant struggle against self. Thus Isaiah says :” Shake yourself from the dust; arise, sit up, O Jerusalem.” In other words, the soul must shake off the dust of worldly affections and attachments and arise from it’s sins before it can enjoy the pleasure of seating itself in charity. However, God bestows marvellous consolations on those who faithfully struggle and on all those who trade the delights of earth for the joys of heaven. But if this barter is not made and a man does not want to surrender his spoils, this celestial refreshment will not be given to him. For we know that the heavenly manna was not given to the children of Israel until they finished the grain that they had brought with them out of Egypt.
Those who do not fortify themselves with courage are incapable of attaining what they seek, and until they are properly armed they will never find it. They should understand that rest is won only with effort, the crown is gained only after the battle, joy follows tears, and the most sweet love of God is gained only when one spiritually hates himself. That is why Scripture so often condemns and severely censures sloth and indifference, and praises fortitude so highly, because the Holy Spirit knows what a great impediment the one is to virtue and what a great help the other is.
Venerable Louis Of Granada O.P. +1588