On the proper manifestation of zeal for souls September 30, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, reading, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
I haven’t posted anything from Divine Intimacy in ages, because a while back I got the impression that most readers perused Divine Intimacy at least as often as I did, and so the posting wasn’t helping anyone. BUUUUT……this little bit from yesterday is so timely and good I thought, what the heck, I’ll post it. There are sure to be some readers who don’t crack open Divine Intimacy daily (I highly recommend you do!). The section below is on zeal for souls, and how to properly practice that zeal (this is a partial re-post but also update of a post from 2012. I’m putting the material in a new post):
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, 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. [And even into the Church. Or perhaps especially into the Church. The bastions must be re-erected. But how is beyond me at this point. I fear it’s going to take a great fall and then perhaps they can be built again, from the rubble.]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. [Is this not what the traditional movement, overall, is about – zeal for souls?! Yes there are probably some motivated by less edifying motives, but I see in much of the traditional “critique,” if you will, of the crisis in the Church a profound love for souls AND Holy Mother Church. We desire to see souls taught properly again, for disciplines to be reinstated for the good of souls, and for our glorious Mother to return to her proper, exalted status. For me, anyway, but I think for many others, as well, being a traddie isn’t about just wanting things our way, it’s about what we know, what our sensus fidei tells us, is best for souls]
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. [INDEED!]
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, for I speak boldly, but I am weak] 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)
“now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church” (Col i:24).
Could the Church have fallen into her present deplorable state had the faithful not fulfilled this edict from St. Paul, to complete the sufferings of Christ’s Sacrifice in our own flesh? Are we doing all we possibly can to “fill up those things that are wanting?” I sadly must declare that I am not. I could do much more. I pray that I will.