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The Proof of Love March 11, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Lent, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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In light of the previous post, a re-post, on how we demonstrate our love for God not with a onetime altar call that in almost all cases produces no lasting conversion, but through a lifetime process of mortification, prayer, and similar works of piety done in cooperation with Grace.

I haven’t quoted from Divine Intimacy in a long time.  Let me rectify that.  From day 96, Proof of Love.  But first, a quick aside.  I was once reading this book in a restaurant, and this guy comes up and asks me what I’m reading.  I show him the cover, which says nothing but Divine Intimacy in big gold letters.  He gives me this wry look and says “Fo yo woman?”  And I say, it’s not like that.  And he goes “Oooohhhhh” and steps away gingerly.  I still don’t think he got it!

After the Incarnation, the Cross of Jesus is the greatest proof of His Love for man. Similarly, mortification, which is suffering eagerly accepted for the love of God, is one of the greatest proofs of love that we can give Him. It means freely giving up a satisfaction or a pleasure in order to impose on ourselves, for love of God, something which is contrary to our own natural inclinations; we thus prove that we prefer to satisfy God rather than ourselves. Every act of voluntary mortification, whether physical or moral, says to God, “Lord, I love You more than myself!” And since a soul in love has an ardent desire to give proof of its love, it is very vigilant not to miss a single opportunity for renunciation. 201203-saint-teresa-margaret

It was in this sense that St. Teresa Margaret of the Heart of Jesus resolved “not to let a single occasion for suffering escape, as far as she was able-and always in silence between God and herself.” In fact, she made every effort “to find at each moment some occasion for suffering or bodily pain, so as never to satisfy the slightest appetite or desire, and she sought ways to make even what was necessary, painful and wearying to her body.” Her ardent love for God found an  outlet in this generous, untiring exercise of mortification……….

The value of voluntary mortification consists much more in the good will with which it is practiced than in the intensity of the suffering which is imposed, although the latter may contribute to it in the sense that a more painful mortification requires more good will.

The amount of suffering must be wisely proportioned, and limited to the physical strength of each one; but what must never be limited is the love, the

Not all souls return to dust

Not all souls return to dust

spirit of generosity with which we preform each act of sacrifice. From this point of view, a slight mortification done with all the love of which a  soul is capable has greater value than a painful penance performed in a material way, with no interior spirit…..

….Loving contemplation of the Crucified was the soul of all the austerities of St. Teresa Margaret.  “This humiliated, suffering God, of whom she was constantly thinking, was the One who gave her the interior strength to overcome every difficulty, however arduous, and to take on spontaneously so many labors and works of charity and mortification; it was He who gave her an insatiable desire for suffering.”

Contemplating Jesus Crucified, the soul feels that even if it is mortifying itself much for love of Him, its sacrifices and renunciations amount to very little, and instead of conceiving sentiments of vain complacency for the mortifications already practiced, it feels the need of humbling itself and of always doing more. “Have great love for suffering,” says St. John of the Cross, “and consider it very little to attain the favor of the Spouse, who hesitated notto die for thee.”

Juan de la Cruz

Juan de la Cruz

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