‘Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.’
Jesus came to save sinners (Luke 19:10), and to give us [supernatural] life in abundance (Jn. 10:10). To attain such life we must remain united to Him – Who is Life Itself (Jn. 14:6) – by charity (1 Jn. 4:16), which knows neither limit, nor rest.
If we wish to remain united to God, therefore, we must advance in love and holiness. ‘In the way of truth you should never pause, but should always walk forward with great strides, because My Word [Jesus] is not only your Way, He is also your Guide.’ (The Eternal Father to St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi).
God desires our salvation ardently. He warns us, therefore, that the lukewarm are in danger of losing God’s grace and, in the end, their souls (Rev. 3:16). This truth is proclaimed by Scripture, the Church, the early Fathers, the Saints, and all credible mystics. Sadly, there are many today who teach or believe the contrary; they believe in a “new Gospel,” an “easy Gospel,” which hinders many from aspiring to charity, “without which no man is saved” (St. Robert Bellarmine).
St. Alphonsus relates the following story (from ‘True Spouse of Jesus Christ’): “Blessed Erric Suson, in the vision of the rocks described in his life, (vita cap. 12,) seeing a great many on the first rock, asked who they were. Jesus Christ answered: ‘These are the tepid who only seek to avoid mortal sin.’ The holy man then asked if they should be saved. ‘If,’ replied the Redeemer, ‘they die in the state of grace, they shall be saved: but their danger is much greater than they imagine. They think they can serve God and the senses; but this is scarcely possible: for, it is exceedingly difficult to persevere in the grace of God, and at the same time to indulge in sensual pleasures.’”
Thanks be to God for revealing to us this obstacle to happiness and eternal salvation! It is not difficult to love One Who loves us perfectly, and Who desires only our good. Frequent prayer and meditation (e.g. accompanied by spiritual reading) will keep our hearts set on Jesus, Who gives His love to all those who ask of it (Rev. 21:6).
‘My child, as long as you look at Me, you will love Me; as long as you look at Me, you will serve Me; when you do not look at Me, you will not follow Me.’
(Our Lord said to His servant, Armelle)
“I desire to see another Myself on earth… Begin generously to be faithful to Me; look at Me, never take your eyes from Me, and thus you will copy Me perfectly.”
(Jesus to Bl. Mary Magdalen Martinengo)
If we give Jesus our good-will, He will take care of us. We cannot expect to become saints in a day, as St. Philip Neri says.
‘To those who begin to wear My yoke, and who are making efforts, I will give My grace. With those who bear My burden – that is to say who try day by day for love of Me to advance in the way of perfection – I will work, I will be their strength, I will inflame them with love so that they may desire Me still more.’
(Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden)
We Must Always Aspire to Greater Love
“In the spiritual life,” says St. Padre Pio, “one must always go on pushing ahead and never go backwards; if not, the same thing happens as to a boat which when it loses headway gets blown backwards with the wind.” If we remain docile to the breath of the Holy Spirit, we will arrively safely at the port of salvation.
‘The soul cannot remain motionless; if she does not go forward, she goes back. When you advance in virtue, you give up the imperfection of fear. When you do not attain to love, you turn backwards.’
(The Eternal Father to St. Catherine of Siena)
‘Every soul in a state of grace loses ground if she does not incessantly endeavour to develop that grace within her.’
(Jesus to St. Margaret of Cortona)
God is infinitely Good; He is Goodness Itself, containing all good things. What greater gift, then, can He grant us than the grace to grow in charity, which unites us to Him and makes us holy and happy, both here and hereafter?! Listen to these words of Jesus to Sr. Gertrude Mary:
‘I am a jealous God. The more I love a soul, the more I exact from it; it can never give Me enough; and this comes from My ardent love for it.’
If God asks much of us, it is because He desires to give us much! Never forget this consoling truth!
Generosity Makes Holiness Sweet and Easy
If we desire simply to love God and bear every Cross for the love of Him, we will advance rapidly in holiness, which will soon become delightful to us.
“Carefully note these words of the Holy Ghost, My child: ‘They shall walk and not faint; they shall run and not be weary’ (Isaiah 40, 31). They mean that it is easier and less tiresome to run and fly rapidly than to go slowly forward, because in the spiritual life there is nothing more wearisome than slowness and laziness.”
(The Eternal Father to St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi)
The Greater Our Love, the Greater Our Reward in Heaven
Almighty God is both just and merciful, ‘Who will render to every man according to his works’ (Rom 2:6).
‘The measure of your love for Me now, while you are on earth, shall be the measure of your love in Heaven.’
(Our Lord to Sr. Gertrude Mary)