The Power of Praise: A Sublime Revelation Given to St. Mechtilde

Coro_di_angeli_-_Francesco_Botticini
A Sublime Revelation to St. Mechtilde

On a certain day, while the Benedicite* was being sung in choir, Our Lord addressed these words to St. Mectilde:

“Whenever anyone sings that hymn, or a similar one [e.g. Psalms 148 – 150] in which all creatures are summoned to praise God, those creatures all come spiritually into My presence and praise Me for that person and for all men in general for all the benefits I have given them.” (Pt. 3, Ch. 7)

[*i.e. The Benedicite. This is a text based on Chapter 3 of the book of Daniel, the first verse of which is: ‘BENEDICITE omnia opera Domini, Domino: All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord.’]

A Biblical Foundation
If this seems far-fetched, listen to St. Paul:

For all things are yours,
whether it be Paul, or Apollo, or Cephas,
or the world,
or life,
or death,
or things present,
or things to come;
for all are yours;
and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.’
1 Cor. 3:22-23

And yet again:

‘He that spared not even His own Son,
but delivered Him up for us all,
how hath he not also, with Him, given us all things?’
– Rom. 8:32

This ought to be the source of all our confidence! The treasury of Christ’s riches are ours! We access these riches by faith. This explains Our Lord’s words to St. Mechtilde: “CONFIDENCE BY ITSELF CAN EASILY OBTAIN ALL THINGS.”

A Model of Confidence
There are many: St. Therese, Bl. Columba Marmion, St. Gertrude, Sr. Benigna Consolata, St. Gemma Galgani, etc. But let’s take another example: Mechtilde of Magdeburg (another holy Mechtilde). “She took all Christendom,” writes Bl. Columba Marmion, “in the arms of her soul to present it to the Eternal Father that it might be saved.
‘Let be,’ said Our Lord to her, ‘it is too heavy for thee.’
‘No, Lord,’ replied the Saint, ‘I will lift it up and bear it to Thee with Thine own Arms, that so Thou mayest bear it Thyself upon the Cross.’

Mechthild_von_Magdeburg

“This Divine Life that Jesus possesses personally and in its plenitude, He wills to communicate and lavish upon us:
I am come that they may have life,
and may have it more abundantly.”

– Bl. Columba Marmion

 

Man’s Only Good

“My God, my Sovereign Love, my All… My Jesus, my only Love, my God, my All... My Jesus, my only God, my All…”

– Words taken from various prayers given by Our Lord to SG. Sr. Benigna Consolata

He who possesses God, possess all. “Sanctifying grace,” writes Reginal Garrigou-Lagrange, “which makes us begin to live in this higher, supra-angelic order of the intimate life of God, is like a divine graft received in the very essence of the soul to elevate its vitality and to make it bear no longer merely natural fruits but supernatural ones, meritorious acts that merit eternal life for us.” (‘The Three Ages of the Interior Life’)

‘Furthermore,’ exclaimed St. Paul,  ‘I count all things to be but loss for the excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but as dung, that I may gain Christ‘ (Phil. 3:8).

“That I may gain Christ.” That we may gain Christ. Is this not the reason for the Incarnation? Is this not the reason behind Our Lord’s cruel passion and death? Is this not the sublime end for which we were created? What more can we desire? What else can slake our thirst for limitless Good? ‘A man cannot receive any thing, unless it be given him from Heaven.’ (John 3:27) ‘I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again I leave the world, and I go to the Father.’ (John 16:28)

“This,” writes Bl. Dom Columba Marmion, “is what our Lord Himself said to a Benedictine nun, Mother Deleloe, whose wonderful inner life has but recently been revealed:

“What more can you desire than to have within you the true source of all good, My Divine Heart?… All these great things are yours, all these treasures and riches are for the heart that I have chosen… Draw as much as you desire of these infinite delights and riches.” (‘Christ, the Ideal of the Monk’)

+++

“Maria,” said Our Lord to Sr. Benigna Consolata, “no longer go begging the love of creatures; were they to give themselves entirely to thee thou wouldst not be satisfied. GOD ALONE CAN SUFFICE FOR THEE. Maria, thou hast need of a heart which loves thee, which understands thee; it is the Heart of God thou needest.” (‘The Tendernesses of the Love of Jesus for a Little Soul’)

Happy are those who can say with St. Francis of Assisi: “My God and my All!” What a beautiful, powerful and succint prayer. To go to God; to hope for everything from Him, to desire nothing but Him, is the very reason for which we were created; there is no other means by which we can find true, lasting fulfilment. This truth is beautifully illustrated in the writings of Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos (‘The Life of Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos: Lay-Sister of the Visitation of Holy Mary’). The words speak for themselves:

“Once, on the Feast of the great St. Ambrose, I was in an extreme weakness, without devotion or application in God or to the merits of that Saint, my great protector, so that I said to our Lord:

‘Alas! my sweet Love, since I am so weak that I cannot further the interests of Thy glory as much as Thy goodness desires and signifies to me, I would punish myself for my fault by depriving myself this morning of approaching the holy Table. It is indeed the hardest penance I can impose on myself; yes, my Jesus, it is carrying my chastisement to the highest point thus to deprive myself of union with Thee by the reception of that Bread of Life.’

He made answer with a graciousness and love which penetrated my inmost soul and passed into the marrow of my bones:

‘Benigne, since when hast thou found that thou dost increase My glory, promote My interests, and make reparation for thy faults BY KEEPING AWAY FROM ME? …”

 

 

Loving God = True Freedom

lagrange

What is Worldly ‘Liberty’?

The freedom to do evil.

“Liberty, in the eyes of the world, is freedom to disobey as well as to obey, freedom to do evil as well as to do good… Liberty in the eyes of the world is the power to choose between good and evil, between duty and selfish whims, between obedience and revolt. It is the power to say with Satan: “I will not obey.” One might as well claim that reason is the faculty for knowing what is false as well as what is true.

What is Godly Liberty?

The freedom to do good.

“True liberty, according to the saints, is not freedom to disobey but only to obey; it is not freedom to do evil, but only freedom to do good. Now this liberty of goodness is supreme in Jesus.”

– Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange (p. 174, ‘Our Saviour and His Love for Us’)

How Do We Gain True Freedom?

Charity.

‘He that loveth not, knoweth not God: for God is charity.’ (1 Jn. 4:8) ‘And you shall know the truth [if you love], and the truth shall make you free.’ (Jn. 8:32)

“This doctrine also teaches us that the more we love God, as Our Lord and the saints do, the freer we shall be with respect to all created goods to dominate the attraction of worldly goods and not to fear the threats of the impious. The martyrs have demonstrated the power of Christian liberty, which endures all kinds of torture rather than be unfaithful to God, and which is more concerned with union to God than with union to the body.”

– Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange (p. 181, ‘Our Saviour and His Love for Us’)

“Mercy is, accordingly, pronounced to anyone who repents of his sins and resolves to sin no more, for My Spirit shall inspire him to perform good works. Whoever freely desires to be separated from the vanities of this world is made more fervent by my Spirit. The person who is even ready to die for me will be so inflamed by my Spirit that he will be wholly in me and I in him.”

– Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden

What is the Greatest Slavery?

Sin.

Sin, in the words of St. Alphonsus, is the “chain of Hell.” Need more be said?

What is the Price of Our Freedom?

Jesus.

“I willed to be captured so that the captive might be set free; I willed to be bound so that the sinner might be unchained; by My constancy in remaining on the Cross, I made all inconstancy constant, and all weakness strong.”

– Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden

How Can We Best Use Our Freedom?

Charity.

“To serve God is to reign.” We created by Love and for Love. Nothing else can truly satisfy. Created things are for us, not we for them. Let us use them wisely, remembering that “… spiritual goods can belong at the same time and in plenitude to all and to each; and they unite us the more in the measure that we seek them. Thus, each one of us can live by the same truth, by the same virtue, by the same God, by the same Christ our Saviour.

Every Christian should ultimately be able to say, as did St. Paul: “To me, to live is Christ.”

– Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange (p. 9, ‘Our Saviour and His Love for Us’)

‘For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus in good works, which God hath prepared that we should walk in them.’

– Ephesians 2:10

 

Some Scriptures and Corresponding Revelations

  1. ‘I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered himself for me.’ -Galatians 2:20

“You see what I have suffered; well, all that is for you.” – Jesus to Bl. Mother Anne of St. Bartholomew

2. ‘That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him.’ – 1 Corinthians 2:9

“… no one before or after Me has as fully understood how glorious is the delight of the heavenly Kingdom as have I and anyone to whom I wish to reveal it.” – Jesus to St. Bridget (Bk 4, Ch 111)

  1. ‘through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God.’ – Acts 14:22

“Temptation is a means of attaining perfection.” – Jesus to St. Bridget

  1. ‘Fear the Lord, all ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.’ – Psalm 34:9

“See that you are faithful to me, and fear nothing.” – Jesus to Bl. Agnes de Langeac: (‘Divine Communications,’ p. 328, Vol. 1)

  1. ‘Who 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.’ – Colossians 1:24

“I am the Head of the Church, and all who are Mine are the members of this same Body and must continue in union with Me, expiation and sacrifice till the end of time…” – Jesus to Ven. Concepcion Cabrera de Armida

Pax Domini!

 

Why Holiness Brings Unspeakable Joy to the Soul!

“It is certain that your happiness consists in perfect renunciation of yourself. I will fill you with My grace in the same degree as you empty yourself of your will.”

– The Eternal Father to St. Catherine of Siena

I die daily, says St. Paul (1 Corinthians 15:31).  The death of which he speaks is the death of self-will and self-love. 

Self-will is a form of pride; it elevates our own will above God’s will (which is love, mercy, truth and wisdom itself). By self-will we frustrate (to some extent) God’s almighty plans. We hinder our own happiness. 

Self-love refers to our self-seeking or selfishness, which often taints our actions. A true lover of God seeks God’s glory in all things; she accepts everything as coming from God’s loving Providence, which wills only her sanctification and happiness. Subsequently, the humble soul (one who truly loves God is necessarily humble) bears everything with patience, serernity and love. God is the sole object of her desires.

I die daily. If we are empty of self, God will fill us with Himself. A soul full of selfishness and sinful attachments cannot fully appreciate the joys of union with God, Who is the Source of all joy, all life, all happiness. The saints, who were united intimately with Jesus, experienced His joy as if it were their own. This is a forestaste of Heaven, in which the soul will be united with God like a drop in the ocean.

One day, Mary, the Mother of God, revealed to St. Bridget these beautiful words with which Our Lord addressed a faithful servant of His, upon entering Paradise:  

‘O My friend, you have come to present to Me the vessel of your heart empty of yourself, and you have desired to fill it with Me. Come then and I will fill it with Myself. Be in Me and I shall be in you and your glory and joy will have no end.’

When we seek God above all things, He fills our hearts with peace and joy!

The Eternal Father to St. Catherine of Siena (speaking of perfect souls): ‘Observe that these souls always possess Me in a sensible manner; the more they have rejected pleasures and desired to suffer, the more they have lost sufferings and found joy.’

Jesus said to St. Jane de Chantal: ‘In all this [humiliations, mortifications and rebuffs] My great design is to make them [souls] progress in My love; and if they did this they would infinitely please Me, and I should always be working to please them. My Heart is filled with sweetness and kindness for the souls that love Me and sincerely give themselves to Me; and I give Myself to them with the abundance of My favours; for they are My spouses whom I love tenderly.’ (p. 235)

The Eternal Father to St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi: ‘Suppose, My child, a man to possess every imaginable riches and to be the idol of every creature. If he does not possess Me who alone am true peace, his heart will never be at rest, for I alone can fill the heart of man, because I am Who am, and I fill up the void of whatever is not, and I fill it all the more when the void is greater and creatures better realise their nothingness.’

The Eternal Father to St. Catherine of Siena (speaking of those who live by and for God’s will):

‘Even in her mortal life she tastes the delights of immortality, and in spite of her mortal body she becomes as light as spirit… it is a greater miracle for the soul not to leave the body in this union that it is for several dead bodies to be raised to life.’

(This seems to explain why some of the saints levitated during prayer e.g. St. Joseph of Cupertino, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Padre Pio, St. Gemma Galgani etc.)

I could add many similar revelations, but these few are sufficient.

Pax Christi!

 

“God Alone!”: A Simple, Consoling and Blessed Rule for Living.

“GOD ALONE!”

– These words can be found over the doors in Cistercian monasteries.

For many, life is a great burden. If only they knew the love of God! God desires our greatest good, namely, union with Him, because He is the Source of all good. I am the vine; you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. How do we unite ourselves to Him? Through confidence, charity and humility. He that loveth not, abideth in death.

“It is not hard to love Love itself,” said Our Lord to Servant of God, Sr. Josefa Menendez. “Why do you permit so much suffering?”, we might ask…

“When a soul is stretched on the cross, and is surrendered to My will, that soul glorifies me, and consoles Me,

and is very close to Me.”

– Our Lord to Sr. Josefa Menendez

Ah, yes! Union with God! That is our greatest good. “GOD ALONE!” 

“It would be very pleasing to me,” said Jesus to St. Gertrude, “if my friends judged me less cruel. They should have the delicacy of thinking that I do not use severity, except for their benefit and for their greater benefit. I do it through love, and if this were
not necessary to cure them or in order to increase their eternal glory, I would not even let the slightest breeze bother them.”

In all our trials, all our worries – at all times – we need only seek God. “GOD ALONE!” Nothing will be of greater profit to us; nothing will afford us more consolation, both here and hereafter. Without God we are like a child without nourishment from its mother’s breast. Actually, we have an even greater need of God, for without Him we can do nothing! He sustains us in existence and nourishes us constantly with His strength and grace.

We must convince ourselves that God’s constant desire is what is best for us. The words “Blessed be God!” and other such words should always be in our heart and on our lips. Human ‘wisdom’, which complains that a “good God would not allow so much suffering”, rejects the One Who made the Cross a bridge between Heaven and Earth; but by doing so they blindly reject the very means by which they are to find true life; that is, by dying to self, to sin, to ego, to selfishness! I die daily, says St. Paul (1 Corinthians 15:31). To be united to Life itself, we must be purged of sinfulness and imperfection. It is impossible to grow closer to God without trials.

Words of Our Lord to Sr. Josefa Menendez:

“When a soul is burnt up with desire to love, nothing is a burden to her, but if she feels cold and spiritless everything becomes hard and difficult. Let her then come to My Heart to revive her courage…”

(“GOD ALONE!”)

“… Let her offer Me her dejection, and unite it to My fervour; then she may rest content, for her day will be of incomparable value to souls. All human miseries are known to My Heart, and My compassion for them is great.”

(“GOD ALONE!”)

“But I desire souls to unite themselves to Me not only in a general way. I long for this union to be constant and intimate, as it is between friends who live together; for even if they are not talking all the time, at least they look at each other, and their mutual affectionate little kindnesses are the fruit of their love…”

(“GOD ALONE!”)

“When a soul is in peace and consolation, doubtless it is easier for her to think of Me, but if she is in the throes of desolation and anguish, she need not fear. I am content with a glance. I understand, and this mere look will draw down on her special proofs of my tenderness.”

(“GOD ALONE!”)

“It will never be known,” said Jesus to Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos “what I have suffered to repair the evil of man.”  Will we not, then, bear at least a small burden for Our Saviour each day?

“When thou art suffering, whether interiorly orexteriorly, do not lose the merit of thy pain; suffer only for Me.”

– Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata

++++++++++++++

“GOD ALONE!”

++++++++++++++

15 Reasons To Suffer With LOVE.

“Embrace the cross lovingly, whenever it comes, as the most precious token of love I can give you in this life.”
– Jesus to St. Margaret Mary

If we were more humble, we would never complain of suffering (except in the sense in which Our Lord complained in the Garden of Gethsemane). “Let us believe that these scourges of the Lord have happened for our amendment and not for our destruction.” Furthermore, let us consider that God also uses our sufferings – if only we bear them with love – to bring down an abundance of graces for others!

Suffering is a small price to pay considering that one serious sin merits eternal suffering. “They do not consider,” said Our Lady to St. Bridget of Sweden, “that the least little sin a man finds delight in is enough to damn him to an eternal torment [if he does not repent].” (We must not forget that Hell is only for those who die in unrepented mortal sin.) This consideration is mentioned so that we may humbly thank God in particular for the priceless grace of repentance, and for the grace of knowing the value – at least to a greater degree than many others – of suffering. God desires that we be happy with Him both here and hereafter. The cross is the means by which God purifies souls and leads them to Himself.

It is a great act of charity to console the suffering. Perhaps the following words will be of profit to someone you know who is suffering:

1. “When suffering is accepted with love, it is no longer suffering, but it is changed into joy.” – St. Therese

2. “… when suffering is joined to love, the proofs of love given through suffering are a true reparation [i.e. for sin] offered to God.” – Jesus to Sr. Mary of the Trinity

3. “Whenever a soul receives with faith and love any occasion of suffering, it is as if she received Me in her arms when taken down from the Cross.” – Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata

4. “Be not afflicted if I begin to abandon thee. Do not think it chastisement. It is truly My own Will in order to detach thee from
creatures and unite thee to Myself.” – Jesus to St. Gemma Galgani

5. “No sin of yours will come under my judgment if it has been expiated in this life through your penance.” – Jesus to St. Bridget

6. “The best penance is to have patience with the sorrows God permits.” – St. Peter Damian

7. “The Cross is the way to Paradise, but only when it is borne willingly.” – St. Paul of the Cross

8. “You will save more souls through prayer and suffering than will a missionary through his teachings and sermons alone.” – Jesus to St. Faustina

9.  “Affliction is always accompanied by Grace; Grace is proportionate to Suffering. The measure of My gifts is increased with the measure of trials.” – Jesus to St. Rose of Lima

10. ”O My daughter, how many would have abandoned Me if they had not been crucified.” – Jesus to St. Gemma Galgani

11. “Let us tell ourselves that every day, every hour, every instant of suffering borne with Jesus and for love of Him will be a new heaven [reward in Heaven] for all eternity, and a new glory given God for ever.” – Bl. Dom Columba Marmion

12. “My child, you canst do nothing more gratifying to Me than to submit patiently to all the tribulations that befall you.” – Jesus to St. Gertrude

13. “The cross is a gift too precious, and from it come many virtues.” – Jesus to St. Gemma Galgani

14. “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad because these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and afterward you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory when it is displayed to all the world.” – 1 Peter 4:12-13

15. “O what inspiration there is in the Crucifix! … God … never commands us to do anything which he has not first practiced Himself…” – St. John Vianney

+++

… should I then have deserved to go to hell in punishment of my sins, I entreat you, O my Lord to pardon me, and to be pleased to lead me to enjoy you eternally in heaven.”

– Venerable Fabrizio Dall’ Aste