Sensuality & The Holy Spirit

AUDIO

As I try to enter more deeply into my “inner cloister” where the Holy Spirit abides in all His power as the director of my soul, I continue to read from Conchita:  A Mother’s Spiritual Diary.  I find these teachings:

+  “The Lord told me: ‘Th391290-funny-pictures-gluttonye world is buried in sensuality, no longer is sacrifice loved and no longer is its sweetness known.”

+  “To the extent the Holy Spirit will reign, sensuality, which today invades the earth, will disappear.”

And more ominously:

+  “In these latter days sensuality has set up its reign in the world. This sensual life obscures and extinguishes the light of faith in souls. That is why more than ever, it is necessary that the Holy Spirit come to destroy and annihilate Satan who under this form penetrates even the Church” (Diary, Jan. 26, 1915).

We must not associate sensuality only with sexual preoccupation, lust, promiscuity, though these are certainly potent forms of sensuality much loved by Satan.  No, unfortunately, what Jesus is telling Conchita and us is that sensuality pervades and penetrates, buries us, invades us even in the bosom of the Church.

I realized that the Holy Spirit was showing me something here.  I have long been dissatisfied with the level of mortification in my life.  I have long realized the deepest meaning of what Jesus told his disciples when they were unable to rout demons from their hold on unfortunate souls,  “This kind can be driven out only by prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29); I knew that had it been me, I would have been as powerless as the disciples were.  Sensuality pervades and penetrates me—and I knew I had to get to the bottom of it.   I continued to read over several days from Conchita:

+  “…what makes the soul insensitive, is the life of the sense, this sensuality which seeks only self-satisfaction in laxity and in ease, binding the spirit and cutting off its wings.”

+  “To the extent the Holy Spirit will reign, sensuality, which today invades the earth, will disappear.”

Now I began to see the connection:  we are ruled either by the Holy Spirit or by sensuality.  To the extent that sensuality rules us, it “seeks only self-satisfaction in laxity and in ease, binding the spirit and cutting off its wings.

As she teaches us about “Asceticism and Penance,” she explains:

+  “Truly the most formidable foe of perfection is ‘ego,’ with its self-love, its tastes, its seeking for ease and comfort. Once this ‘ego’ is conquered, the place is ours and Jesus is ours too, entirely. He does not come into a house already occupied. Then the Holy Spirit becomes everything for us. He only sets up His shelter in the solitude of a pure soul.”

Sensuality, this self-love with its tastes and seeking for ease and comfort, infects all of us.  But although we may have driven all mortal sin from our lives, even most venial sin, sensuality continues—unheeded, taking different lazinessforms such as love of food and eating for the pleasure of it, fastidiously seeking comfortable surroundings, bedding & furniture, cool & heat, the inability to make ourselves exercise, “sleeping in,” and a million other little attachments.

I realized some time ago that gluttony is my greatest weakness.  I’m from Louisiana; we Cajuns love to eat—and we eat a lot.  The food is wonderful; and even when it is not, we tend to overdo the good times.  As I prayed about all of this and reviewed the varied ways we can sin through gluttony, I became convinced that I probably sin through gluttony every day.

Several months ago I looked and found online some wonderful articles about gluttony which I would like to share.

+  “Saint Thomas Aquinas, a Doctor of the Catholic Church, argued that there was six primary ways gluttony is committed:

  • Praepropere – Eating too soon. [Unfortunately, this teaching tells us that eating between meals, if we are healthy, is an act of gluttony.]
  • Laute – Eating too expensively.
  • Nimis – Eating too much.
  • Ardenter – Eating too eagerly (burningly).
  • Studiose – Eating too daintily (keenly).
  • Forente – Eating wildly (boringly).

[If you have never sat with a carton of ice cream, eating right out of the carton, count yourself blessed—I know I have, to my shame, and more than once.  A story of one of my uncles, Uncle Louis—now deceased—reveals how when he bought ice cream he always bought two cartons:  one for the family and one for himself!  My cousins and I have commented more than once that addiction to sugar gluttony2runs in our family.  The tragedy is that sugar addiction is so widespread now, wreaking havoc on the lives and health of so many Americans.]

St. Thomas Aquinas further explains:

+  “The inordinate concupiscence may be considered in two ways.  First, with regard to the food consumed [what you eat]: and thus, as regards the substance or species of food a man seeks “sumptuous” — i.e. costly food; as regards its quality, he seeks food prepared too nicely — i.e. “daintily”; and as regards quantity, he exceeds by eating “too much.”  Secondly, the inordinate concupiscence is considered as to the consumption of food  [how you eat] : either because one forestalls the proper time for eating, which is to eat “hastily,” or one fails to observe the due manner of eating, by eating “greedily.”

Richard Conlin blog gives a wonderful compendium of teachings by varied Church fathers on his blog:  A Catholic Approach to Food and Fasting.  For example, St. Augustine tells us:gluttony

+  ‘Who is it, Lord, that does not eat a little more than necessary?’

Richard Conlin also cites, in addition to St. Augustine (354-430), St. Frances de Sales (1567-1622),  St. Jean-Baptiste de la Salle (1651-1719), the Cure of Ars—St. John Vianney (1786-1859), St. John Climacus (1600s—also known as St. John of the Ladder), St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787), St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), The Lord, to St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373), St. Mark the Ascetic (5th century), Pope St. Gregory the Great (590-604), St. Maximos the Confessor (580-662), and finally, St. John Cassian. St. John Cassian, a contemporary of St. Augustine, lived from c. 360 – 435 AD—if he is citing “Church Fathers” then he is surely citing the apostles and their immediate successors; so these teachings reach us from the very beginnings of Christianity.  I include the years these saints and Fathers of the Church lived to show how persistent these teachings have been over nearly two thousand years.

It is St. John Cassian’s teaching over which I have been mulling these last few months:

‘I shall speak first about control of the stomach, the opposite to gluttony, and about how to fast and what and how much to eat. I shall say nothing on my own account, but only what I have received from the Holy Fathers. They have not given us only a single rule for fasting or a single standard and measure for eating, because not everyone has the same strength; age, illness or delicacy of body create differences. But they have given us all a single goal: to avoid over-eating and the filling of our bellies. . . A clear rule for self-control handed down by the Fathers is this: stop eating while still hungry and do not continue until you are satisfied.’

I think this must be the golden standard of control, but I can’t help but marvel over that last sentence—I wonder if I ever eat a meal and adhere to that directive.  I know I am not alone in this.  How often have you heard,  “Make room for dessert!”  Even when we have eaten a good meal and are satisfied, we usually find room for that delicacy known as dessert.  We live in gluttony every day.

The question is, what to do about our sensuality which, if left untended, will erode our life in the Spirit.  Conchita tells us:

+  “…spiritual combat against self and against tendencies…remain in each of us, even after a sincere conversion. It is necessary to fight to the death, “I must strive to uproot this ‘ego’ which tenaciously stands up at every instant, wanting to dominate everything… I would like to kill it and bury it deeper and deeper.”  One of Conchita’s children told a researcher that she had a tendency to “a touch of gluttony”—she admitted that she could not pass a confectionary [candy store] without going in.  So there’s hope for us!

Last night as I reflected on these ideas, the Holy Spirit  showed me something else:  fasting is so difficult for me.  Why?  If we have not taken gluttony in hand in our lives, how in the world can we fast successfully?  Fasting takes us beyond temperance, normal control, into deeper submission to the Holy Spirit.  How can we do this if gluttony and sensuality erode our life in the Spirit every day?

I am convicted.  I read on a site called “Courageous Priest”:

+  …”what we know as man’s desires – often inordinate ones – which are called “concupiscence”, is left in us for our moral betterment and proving.”  Remember also St. Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”—three times he begged the Lord to remove it, and was told:  “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor 12:8).

I must fight harder, that is obvious.  But the fight will remain; that is also God’s will—concupiscence, the tendency and temptation to any kind of sensuality “is left in us for our moral betterment and proving.” Like those addicted to alcohol, we have to take one day at a time—sometimes one moment at a time,  struggling to cooperate with actual grace.  This is the meaning of “actual grace.”  The Church teaches that there is a difference between actual grace and sanctifying grace. An easy way to understand actual grace is to remember that it enables us to act. It is the strength that God gives us to act according to his will.   What God promised St. Paul was actual grace—“My grace is sufficient for you.”  But He did not release him from the daily struggle.  Neither are we exempt, as all the saints attest.

Last, I am comforted by Conchita’s teaching from Christ on PENANCE.  Repentance, daily if need be, is key:

+  “”Penance is a great virtue and the spirit of repentance is a gratuitous gift which God grants to whom He pleases. Its influence is universal, not only for liberating man from sin, but for helping him practice all the virtues. Penitence appeases God’s justice and transforms it into graces. It purifies souls, extinguishes the fires of purgatory and receives in heaven a most sublime recompense. Penance pays for personal faults and those of others. Penance is the sister of mortification. Both work together hand in hand. Penance helps the soul rise above things of the earth. Penance cooperates with the Redemption of the world. Penance humbles man, it penetrates him with an inner feeling of his baseness and his wretchedness. Penance brings light to the soul. It consumes and causes to disappear all in it that is purely material. It raises him higher and higher above the earth, making him taste of delights hitherto unknown and pure. But this penance should be the daughter of reverence and exist in the soul, hidden from all humans” (Diary, Sept. 24, 1895).

Scripture also gives us courage and encouragement.  Jesus tells us in John 16:33:

+  “I have spoken these things to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world.”  What is ever needed is trust, humility, prayer, perseverance.

Sources: 

https://richardconlin.wordpress.com/2015/04/12/a-catholic-approach-to-food-fasting/

http://www.courageouspriest.com/warning-gluttony-gateway-sins-flesh

http://www.starling-fitness.com/archives/2008/08/20/st-thomas-aquinas-and-gluttony/

http://www.spiritualdirection.com/2010/05/03/what-virtues-can-i-practice-to-overcome-the-root-sin-of-sensuality

http://www.christianperfection.info/tta36.php

https://www.ewtn.com/library/SPIRIT/SLP2B1C3.TXT

Save

Advertisements

The Inner Cloister of FIAT

AUDIO

Yesterday I was reading again from Conchita:   Mother’s Spiritual Diary. Jesus tells her:

“You are to live cloistered in the very inner sanctuary of your soul, for there is where dwells the Holy Spirit. It is in this sanctuary you must live and die. There are your delights, your consolations, your repose. Do not look elsewhere for it, you will never find it. It is for this purpose I have created you specially. From today on, enter into the innermost regions of your soul…. The ‘inner cloister’ is essential for the sanctification of the soul wishing to be all Mine.  There, in this sanctuary, which no one sees, is found true virtue and consequently the contemplation of God and the dwelling of the Holy Spirit” (Diary, Aug. 15, 1897).

Today I continued to pray and meditate about INNER CLOISTER, and the Holy Spirit gave me this:  “In the perfect FIAT of my Mother, I find my inner cRosa_Místicaloister.”  I am determined with all my heart to live in the Fiat of Mary—“Be it done to me according to Thy Word”–[and that Word is so sweet because it is the Eternal Word!]  Just as Mary gave her perfect Fiat in her response to angel Gabriel in the Incarnation, her perfect Fiat in the hidden life of 33 years, her perfect Fiat at the foot of the Cross, her perfect Fiat to the solitude of martyrdom of the heart after His ascension,   I, too, am determined to live in her perfect Fiat to the Divine Will, in this most hidden of inner cloisters of my own heart, in all the moments of my life—each one a sacrament of the moment.

This cloister of the Fiat wraps me in humility, first, enabling me to be “the handmaid of the Lord”—in purity, because to live in Fiat is always to be overshadowed by the power of the Holy Spirit, to live in His Fire, to be transformed into the Heart of Jesus.  As He taught me so well in “TO BE JESUS CRUCIFIED” [Ven. Luis Martinez], “Wherever the Little Dove nests is the Heart of Jesus.”

This inner cloister of Fiat is filled with our most welcome Guest—the Holy Spirit, our spiritual director.

In my inner cloister of Fiat is the inner garden, fragrant with the roses of all the virtues, the lilies of all the Spirit’s gifts—the lilies in which He loves to browse and to rest.

To live in the cloister of FIAT is to live overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, to be transformed into the Heart of Christ who always does what is pleasing to Abba.

I ask Mother Mary to walk through this garden of my heart with me, she who is truly my Mother Superior, to encourage the full flowering of the roses, to flourish the lilies of the gifts, to draw forth the fragrance and sweetness of all for the intoxication of the Bridegroom, for His delight, His rest, and consolation.

Then I read in Ven. Luis Martinez [WORSHIPPING A HIDDEN GOD, p. 222-223]:    “Let her not be frightened at hearing herself being called Delight and Rest and Sanctuary.  She is a delight because she is a bride.  Whose duty is it but the bride’s to delight the Spouse with her tenderness?  Where is the Spouse to seek for repose, if not in the heart of the bride, who has been transformed by Him into an abode of love, into a garden enclosed where the most exquisite fruits are cultivated and where the richest flowers diffuse their fragrance?  This garden is the Spouse’s very own, because He planted it; it is His own because He waters it, cultivates it, and preserves it.  It is His own because it is for Him alone…and because she is the sanctuary of the heart of Christ, she is also an asylum for sinners; for God has not enriched her soul with so many graces for her sake alone, but also for the good of her brethren….”

I read also in The Simple Path to Union of my Love Crucified Community, Hidden Life of Spiritual Mothers, Diary of a MOC :      … It is through the hidden life of the Mothers of the Cross that My army of holy priests will be raised up. These spiritual mothers will live the tears and sorrows of their hearts united as one with My Mother of Sorrows. It is My Mother’s sorrows that continue to shower grace upon the world, and as My MOC unite as one with My Mother, the shower will become a living torrent of grace. Therefore, each MOC must be perfected in living her hidden ordinary life with all its trials, sorrows, exhaustion…. with pure love; and in this way she will find her joy: the joy of knowing that she is participating in the hidden sorrows of My Mother for the salvation of many souls. Allow My Mother to form each of you, My daughters. It is Rosa Mystica who wants to form your gentle hearts. Mary reveals the sorrows of her pierced Heart that continue to remain hidden and the roses of prayer, sacrifice and penance. You must imitate Mary in this way. Your lives will become the sweet fragrance of prayer, and your sacrifices and penances will be lived in the most ordinary of your duties as women. Your lives as My victims of love will go unnoticed by the world but will be seen by the eyes of the Father. He will use your hidden lives of love to humble the proud. Know that you are My consolation. (5/31/11)   [+Simple Path]

To live in this inner cloister of the FIAT is to live in the DIVINE WILL.  I remember Luisa’s beautiful prayer, and it is my own:

Prayer of Consecration to the Holy Divine Will [Luisa Picarretta]
O adorable and Divine Will, here I am, before the immensity of Your Light, that Your eternal Goodness may open to me the doors, and make me enter into It, to form my life all in You, Divine Will.

Therefore, prostrate before Your Light, I, the littlest among all creatures, come, O adorable Will, into the little group of the first children of Your Supreme Fiat. Prostrate in my nothingness, I beseech and implore Your endless Light, that It may want to invest me and eclipse everything that does not belong to You, in such a way that I may do nothing other than look, comprehend, and live in You, Divine Will.

It will be my life, the center of my intelligence, the enrapturer of my heart and of my whole being. In this heart the human will will no longer have life; I will banish it forever, and will form the new Eden of peace, of happiness, and of love. With It I shall always be happy; I shall have a unique strength, and a sanctity that sanctifies everything and brings everything to God.

Here prostrate, I invoke the help of the Sacrosanct Trinity, that They admit me to live in the cloister of the Divine Will, so as to restore in me the original order of Creation, just as the creature was created.

Celestial Mother, Sovereign Queen of the Divine Fiat, take me by the hand and enclose me in the Light of the Divine Will. You will be my guide, my tender Mother; you will guard your child, and will teach me to live and to maintain myself in the order and in the bounds of the Divine Will.

Celestial Sovereign, to your Heart I entrust my whole being; I will be the tiny little child of the Divine Will. You will teach me the Divine Will, and I will be attentive in listening to you. You will lay your blue mantle over me, so that the infernal serpent may not dare to penetrate into this Sacred Eden to entice me and make me fall into the maze of the human will.

Heart of my highest Good, Jesus, You will give me Your flames, that they may burn me, consume me, and nourish me, to form in me the Life of the Supreme Will.

Saint Joseph, You will be my Protector, the Custodian of my heart, and will keep the keys of my will in your hands. You will keep my heart jealously, and will never give it to me again, that I may be sure never to go out of the Will of God.

Guardian Angel, guard me, defend me, help me in everything, so that my Eden may grow flourishing and be the call of the whole world into the Will of God.

Celestial Court, come to my help, and I promise You to live always in the Divine Will.  AMEN

 

 

 

Save

We are Underwhelmed by God

What is wrong with us?  Are we so numbed by the banality of our daily lives, so hypnotized by the trivialities of television that our intelligence and sensitivity have shrunk to the size of pea gravel?  We stumble through 24 hours a day, seven days a week in a brain fog, half asleep even in our waking hours.  On the Lord’s Day most of humanity rolls over in whatever bed it has devised, groans, and either gets up for yet another day of dehumanizing toil or snatches a few more hours of sleep on its day off.  God?  What does He have to do with anything?

Venerable Conchita writes in her Diary on August 8, 1896:  How can anyone believe, before God and in the presence of such grandeur, that he is something of grandeur, miserable atom that he is? How can he think he ismerging-galaxies_450x338px something good in comparison with this goodness without limits: How can he declare himself perfect in the presence of such a light on these infinite perfections. How can he esteem himself pure, in the face of this eternal Truth. Oh what fools we are, we others, poor beings of this world, when we believe we are something or consider ourselves capable of the least thing! [CONCHITA: A MOTHER’S SPIRITUAL DIARY]

Ultimately, her response teaches us how we should respond:  “In truth, after I touched God and had an imperfect notion of His Being, I wanted to prostrate myself, my forehead and my heart, in the dust and never get up again” (Diary, Aug. 8, 1896).

Do these remarks sound at least familiar?  “O Lord, what fools these mortals be?” [A line from the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare. A mischievous fairy, Puck, addressing his king, is commenting on the folly of the human beings who have come into his forest.]

“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” [Luke 23:34]

“You fool—this night your soul will be required of you!”  [Luke 12:20]

These remind me of a rather famous character in the Old Testament.  Remember Job?  Charlie Johnston tells us the story, making us understand that there is far more to the story of Job than the faithful Jew overwhelmed by tragedy at the instigation of Satan.  Read “Into the Whirlwind”.

What we find is a good man complaining, with good reason—we think—about his life, completely overwhelmed by the majesty and immensity of God:  “God comes roaring out of the whirlwind to answer Job. For the next four chapters God takes Job through all of creation; the heavens, the earth, the seas, the sky, the animals, the darkness and the light. At each step, God asks Job what he knows of such things, what he can command. The Almighty is not gentle about his questioning of Job. Dripping with sarcasm, He taunts and mocks the man, showing him how small he is and how little he knows.

“After four chapters of God roaring at and apparently browbeating him, Job submits. “I put my hand over my mouth…I have dealt with great things that I do not understand; things too wonderful for me, which I cannot know,” (Job 40:4, 42:3 NAM). Here is a clear precursor to Venerable Conchita.

Charlie continues:  “Think about that. God did not just come out of the whirlwind to Job; He took Job back into the whirlwind with Him. 

“I love contemplating what it was Job saw that caused him to put his hand over his mouth and dispute with God no more. Imagine that God showed Job our world, sparkling blue and green like some impossibly rare and precious gem, glittering with life and light. Then God shows Job the entire universe. Think of Job’s wonder at the billions of stars, comets, quarks and planets all pulsing and whirring, a symphony of light and rhythm. Then the stunning realization that our world amounts to less than a grain of sand in the ocean of this staggering abundance. Most stunning of all, God shows Job that this vast universe is merely the support system for our little speck. Every passing comet, every collapsing black hole, every bursting supernova, every moon, every planet in the most distant galaxy is designed to maintain the dynamic tension which keeps our world ticking. Utterly amazing that in the grand physical scheme of things we are less than a speck – and yet are the very reason for that grand scheme. We are God’s beloved.”

If we do not put our hand over our mouths in utter astonishment, if we do not prostrate ourselves in the dust, it’s only because we have not gone face to face with God.  We have not wanted to enter the whirlwind.  We have not bothered to spend more than a few minutes a week in rote “prayer” with the one we call the Almighty.  Yet here is the One to Whom the seraphim, those pure angelic spirits, bow and prostrate through eternity singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy!”

Even if the only reason we enter into our inner sanctuary is to place ourselves in His presence, to knock ourselves in the head and say,  “You fool!  Wake up!  It is not your world you live in—it’s all His!  You’re a mere quirk in the fabric of the universe—and He condescends to love you.  He groans with the thirst that you be One!”  Time is the only thing we have.  “Can you not stay awake one hour with Me?”  [Matthew 26:40].

Follow Venerable Conchita for a few more moments:  “not being able to meditate, I ended up by opening my soul to God, abandoning myself wholly to His will. Scarcely had I done so than I felt submerged in an abyss of light, of clarity, of some inexplicable thing which took away all my feelings, leaving my soul in suspense fixed in one single point, and this point was: God! God! abyss of purity and infinite splendors!”

“l saw a large hearth with a most live and pure light. From this uncreated light there burst forth dazzling rays of divine clarity. All was divine. It was one and the same divinity in an eternity without beginning. Then my soul, as it were transported to this place, contemplated this torrent of light, of fire, of life which came back so to say toward the very hearth whence it had come, as if flowing hack and reflecting on itself. I do not know how to express myself. My God! In this dazzling splendor of light, of fire, of life, of one and the same divinity, I understand how there was brought about the Generation of the Word, of that Word which was from the beginning!” 

Conchita is not underwhelmed by God—she is stupefied and astonished, overwhelmed—the only response is dazed adoration. How much time will you give Him to overwhelm you with Adoration this week?

PRAYER

Even were I to remain prostrate  with my head in the dust all the days of my life,  I could not please God more than one tear  clinging to the eyelashes of the face of Jesus,  or one drop of His blood, abandoned in the dust of a Gethsemane night.

 O Holy Spirit, grant us discernment,  Wisdom to worship in Spirit & Truth.  Teach us to adore. 

O Holy God,  Holy Mighty One, O Holy Immortal One, Have mercy on us.  [repeat one million times]

O Lord, I am not worthy.  I plead His tears. I plead His blood. You will not spurn a contrite heart steeping in the misery of its brokenness.   I have earned nothing but Your eternal contempt—But God, You are my Saving God.     My Glory, You lift up my head.

 

“Transform My Heart into Your Living Chalice”

To be human is to be wounded.  Our very nature is wounded by original sin which darkens our intellect, weakens our will, and disrupts the unity between spirit and flesh.  We are wounded by sin, the sin of others—we have father wounds, mother wounds, spousal wounds; we are wounded by our own children, by others through their personal sins, crimes, and utter selfishness.  We are wounded by our own sins, progressively wounded through repeated, unrepented personal sin.  But Jesus was wounded for us, for our broken societies, broken families, broken hearts; “by His stripes we are healed.”  [Isaiah 53:5]

How can we be healed?  To be baptized is to receive His promise, but never are we completely free of the effects of original sin and personal sin, which are ongoing, always, at some level.  Into our wounds Satan plants his lies, his infestations:  “You are abandoned, unloved, unlovely, inadequate, unworthy, unwanted, useless, stupid, etc.”  Sprouting up in this unholy soil come the sins and disordered tendencies:  anger, resentment, pride, self-indulgence, the obsession to control, the fear of intimacy, multi-layered duplicity—the lies  we tell ourselves and others.  The lies we live.

All the lies of Satan, the infestations of the wounds need to be cleaned out…and where are the wounds, exactly, but in our hearts?  Regardless of the kind of wound, it is always a deep hole in the heart; and what an effort it is always to go down in there, digging out from their very roots the many layers which have built up over the years, to choose transparency instead of duplicity, to choose meekness instead of intimidation and control, to choose forgiveness instead of resentment and anger.  This indeed is the test:  Not to run away, but to dig deep, to penetrate the wound, always to do what is most difficult. To bring all the ugly brokenness, the mess and trash of your heart to Christ. He is waiting for it. [See  Ch. 3-A-3, “By His Wounds You are Healed,”  SIMPLE PATH TO UNION WITH GOD, Formation Book for Christ’s Martyrs of Love]

See in this deep hole in your psyche, this UNITY CRUCIFIXpiercing of your heart, the perfect chalice, a cup to receive the tears and blood of your crucified Lord, the flood of Divine Mercy that has nowhere else to go unless a wounded heart is there to receive it.  We have nothing else to offer but our wounds, so let us struggle daily to discover them, to penetrate them, to clean them out with our penitence, our own tears, and to offer them to be filled with His Love, His Mercy, the perfect sacrifice of praise.

The deep, clean wound is the chalice of your martyred heart—filled with God’s mercy for the multitudes.  The wound must be attended, must be cleaned out because it is the deep, clean wound that is the chalice; and unless it is emptied out in kenosis, utterly cleaned out, how can it be filled with the Precious Blood and Tears, the Mercy of God to overflow onto our territory of souls?  The chalice is our deeply wounded heart, emptied out and filled, overflowing with the Divine Mercy.

When we have touched the very pit of the wound in our heart, we touch the pain.  It is through our pain that we share and become one with the pain and suffering of Christ.  Live your woundedness, live your pain again in the pierced Heart of Christ the Victim.  See on the altar that chalice, your martyred heart, pierced like His, pierced with His, and offered to the Father for the Church, for the salvation of souls. Find here the central joy of your life.

Pray to be transformed into a living chalice filled with the blood, the tears, the Divine Mercy that you collect through the prayers, sacrifices, and union of your life with Christ, a chalice spilling over onto your territory of souls, all the precious souls whose lives touch your life.

In the Diary of St. Faustina, Jesus tells her:  “I am the best of Fathers to them and…it is for them [poor sinners] that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy….I desire to bestow My graces upon souls, but they do not want to accept them.  You, at least, come to Me as often as possible and take these graces they do not want to accept.”  [#367]

As we open our hearts in vulnerability, which is powerlessness, openness, and receptivity, to take these graces, the Mercy rushes like a flood into the full depth of our woundedness.  As we suffer with Him, the Hidden Force of His Mercy grows in power as a flood grows when the gates of a dam are opened.  Just as His Mercy flows into us in the blood and water gushing from His pierced Heart, so the Mercy gushes from our pierced hearts to the souls around us.

We are transformed into living chalices according to our individual capacity, understanding, willingness, and commitment—or as Jesus explains to St. Faustina, “My Heart finds disappointment; I do not find complete surrender to My love.  So many reservations, so much distrust, so much caution.” [#367]  It is only the wounded heart made vulnerable, open, powerless, and receptive to Him that becomes the living chalice.  [see “Living Chalices,”  3-C-7, SIMPLE PATH TO UNION WITH GOD, Formation Book for Christ’s Martyrs of Love]

As the open wound in His Heart makes Him vulnerable, so the open wound in our heart makes us vulnerable as well.  Are you willing to keep the wound open and clean, to suffer with Him, to be more deeply pierced, to be continually opened wider to Him?  The deeper the piercing, the deeper the flow of Blood & Water, Love & Mercy—the greater the power of the Hidden Force to cleanse, heal, and save.  [See “Our Ordinary Life is a Hidden Force,” 3-C-4, SIMPLE PATH TO UNION WITH GOD, Formation Book for Christ’s Martyrs of Love]

Even the ordinary little sufferings and sacrifices of daily life from which flows the Hidden Force, are made powerful because they are borne by a wounded heart such as this.  Their power emerges from the depth of the pierced heart insofar as that heart is united to the pierced Heart of Christ the Victim.  Nothing small, insignificant, or weak rises from the depths of such a heart.

From the abandonment of the wounded heart deepened in total vulnerability, openness, and union with Christ the Victim, in little souls such as St. Theresa of Lisieux, St. Faustina—and in us, the Hidden Force rushes with power to save.

PRAYER

Through the power of Your Holy Spirit,  transform me,  O Jesus,  my Love Crucified, into a living chalice that I may be your companion in love.

I bring to Your flood of Mercy all the troubled disorders of my wounded heart.  Cleanse and purify my brokenness;   and fill my heart with your loving Mercy, so that I can suffer all with You,  no longer two, but One, in Your sacrifice of love.

Grant that the Hidden Force of Your Mercy with which I live daily in my little acts of love and sacrifice, may rush from the chalice of my poor heart into the lives of my territory of souls  to cleanse, to heal, and to save.  AMEN.