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Zeal for Souls October 4, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Interior Life, persecution, religious, Saints, sickness, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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From Day 317 of Divine Intimacy, a wonderful exegesis on the all-consuming zeal we should have for the conversion and salvation of souls:

According to the measure in which the love of God takes possession of our heart, it creates and nourishes in us an ever increasing love for our neighbor; this love, being supernatural, seeks only the supernatural good for our fellow men and thus becomes zeal for the salvation of souls.

If we have little love of God, we shall have little love for souls, and vice versa; if our zeal for souls is weak, this means our love of God is also weak. In fact, how could it be possible to love God sincerely without loving those who are His children, the object of His love, of His care, and of His zeal? Souls are, as it were, God’s treasure; he has created them to His image and likeness by an act of love; and by an even greater act of love He has redeemed them with the Blood of His only begotten Son. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever should believe in Him may not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jn 3:16). One who has penetrated the mystery of God’s love for men, cannot remain indifferent to their fate: by the light of faith, he has understood that all that God does in the world is for man’s good and for his eternal happiness.  He longs to have some share in this action, knowing that he can do nothing which will be more pleasing to God than to lend his humble collaboration for the salvation of those who are so dear to Him. This was always the desire of the Saints, as St. Teresa of Jesus writes: “This is an inclination given me by Our Lord; and I think He prizes one soul which…….we have gained for Him, more than all the other services we can render…..”  It is true that the primary end of God’s action is His own glory, but He who is infinitely good wills to obtain this glory especially through the salvation and the happiness of His creatures. In fact, nothing exalts His goodness, love, and mercy more than the work of saving souls....

Zeal for souls finds its source in charity, and in the contemplation of of Christ crucified. His wounds, His Blood, the excruciating sufferings of His agony, all tell us how much God values souls, and how much He loves them.  But this love is unrequited, and it seems that ungrateful men strive more and more to elude His action. It is this sad spectacle of all the ages which is renewed even today[ho boy,I would say especially today!] as though men wished to insult Jesus and renew His Passion.  “The world is on fire. Men try to condemn Christ once again, as it were, for they bring a thousand false witnesses against Him. They would raze his Church to the ground” (St. Teresa of Jesus, Way of Perfection, 1). If Teresa of Jesus could speak these words in her century which was troubled by the protestant heresy, how much more can we say it in ours, when the struggle against God and the Church has increased immeasurably, and has now spread over the entire world. [Think of all the God-hating, Christian-bashing media figures and “entertainers” and politicians there, how often you see God spat on and derided in internet comboxes and in TV programs or movies……the world despises God and His Church, which is why “engagement” can only be done under extremely careful circumstances, and why the Bastions must be stood up again] Happy shall we be if we can say with the Saint: “It breaks my heart to see so many souls traveling to perdition. I would the evil were not so great……..I felt that I would have laid down a thousand lives to save a single one of all the souls that were being lost.” (Way of Perfection, 1)  But it is not a question of merely formulating desires; we must work, act, and suffer for the salvation of our fellow men.

St. John Chrysostom affirms: “Nothing is colder than a Christian who does not care about the salvation of others.” This coldness comes from a very languid charity. Let us kindle and revive our charity and it will inflame us with zeal for the salvation of souls.  Then our apostolate will no longer be merely a duty which is imposed from without, one which we are obliged to attend to because of the obligation of our state in life, but it will be an exigency of love, an interior flame of charity which burns spontaneously.

Devoting ourselves to the spiritual life does not mean shutting ourselves up in an ivory tower to enjoy God’s consolations undisturbed, with no concern for the welfare of others. It means concentrating all our powers on seeking God, working for our own sanctification in order to please God, and thus acquiring a power of action and impetration [??] capable of obtaining the salvation of many souls.

St. Teresa of Jesus says:

O my dear Lord, how much oppressed are you by those to whom You have shown so much good! It seems as though these traitors [ME!!] would send You to the Cross again and that You would have nowhere to lay Your Head. My heart cannot conceive this without being sorely distressed!

O eternal Father! Surely all these scourgings and insults and grievous tortures will not be forgotten. how, then, my Creator, can a heart as loving as Yours endure that an act which was performed by Your son in order to please You the more and to obey Your commands (for He loved You most deeply, and You commanded Him to love us) should be treated as lightly as the heretics treat the most Holy Sacrament today, destroying His tabernacles and demolishing His churches? [Can you imagine how the great St. Teresa would see the Church today?!?!  Today, the destruction comes not from without, but from within!  It is to weep…..] Could it be that Your Son failed to do something to please You? Has He not fulfilled everything?….Has this most loving Lamb to pay once more whenever we relapse into sin? Permit it not, my sovereign Lord! Look not upon our sins, but upon our redemption by Thy most sacred Son, upon His merits and upon those of His glorious Mother and of all the saints and martyrs who have died for You!……

…..Behold my desires, my God, and the tears with which I beg this of You; forget my sins, for Your Name’s sake, and have pity on all these souls who are being lost, and help Your Church (The Way of Perfection, 1-3)

Comments

1. Jeannee - October 4, 2012

Thank you for this + and you know what??? I don’t know you personally, but by dint of this blog ALONE – well, I don’t think the God of our belief is too worried about you personally being lukewarm and persecuting His church +

tantamergo - October 4, 2012

Thank you so much!

2. Aunt Melanie - October 5, 2012

From St. John Chrysostom to St. Teresa of Jesus, we have been instructed from the roots of biblical truth–every generation seems to need these instructions again, yet I think our present society is especially hostile to Christianity and, in a sense, gets away with it. It is popular to scorn Christians and to validate every alternative lifestyle. I pity today’s children–many lack those roots, because sometimes the traitors are, unfortunately, their parents and the schools and the television. Justifying one’s own sinful lifestyle is more important than the welfare of the kids.

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