Sunday, July 29, 2012

QUOTATION: Perfection

First, I do not here pretend to deny but that we are to rejoice when God approaches us, and be sorry when he withdraws himself from us. For it is impossible a soul should not feel a sensible joy in the presence of her beloved, and be sensibly afflicted at his absence, since by this she is left to desolations and temptations. Jesus Christ himself was sensibly affected on seeing himself forsaken by his eternal father, when on the cross he cried out: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ? (Matthew 27:46). But what I desire is, that we make our profit of this hard proof and trial which God sometimes sends his elect; and that we endeavor to fortify our souls, in conforming ourselves to the divine will, saying: Nevertheless, O Lord, not as I will, but as you will. (Matthew 26:39).

We must make use of this means the more readily, as Christian perfection consists neither in the sweetness of consolations, nor in sublime prayer; and as our advancement is not measured thereby, but only according to the rule of charity, which is independent of all other things, and which consists in a perfect union and submission to the Divine Will, as well in adversity and desolation, as in prosperity and comfort. Wherefore upon this account it is, that spiritual crosses and aridities ought to be received from the hand of God, as well as consolations and favors: and we must thank him equally for both. If it be your pleasure, O Lord, that I remain in darkness, blessed be your holy name; if you will have me enjoy the light, blessed be your holy name; if you confer comforts upon me, blessed be your holy name; and if you will have me suffer afflictions, blessed be your holy name. This is the advice of the apostle when writing to the Thessalonians, he says: In all this give God thanks; for this is what God would have all do in Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

--St. Alphonsus Rodriguez