Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – XVIII

And Blessed Louis, who already has a vision of the magnificent result of the joint efforts of the grace of God and of the soul which corresponds to it, cries in his joy and enthusiasm: ‘Oh, what an admirable work!  Dust changed into light, filth into purity, sin into sanctity, the creature into its Creator, man into God!’

Then when the goal is reached, when the vocation is accomplished, when in the transfigured soul glows the divine image in all its peerless beauty, there rise before our dazzled but happy eyes those heroes of holiness, who bear such names as Francis de Sales, Montfort, the sainted Curé d’Ars or S. Teresa of the Child Jesus.

Oh, what an admirable work!’ he repeats.   But anon in a feeling of humility as he looks upon human misery and weakness, he sighs, ‘but one difficult in itself and impossible to mere nature.’

Alas! yes, we feel it, and each of us can at a given moment repeat the words of the great Apostle: ‘For I do not that good which I will; but the evil which I hate, that I do,’ the Christian’s answer and translation of the bitter words of the pagan poet: ‘Video melior proboque, deteriora sequor.’ ‘God by His grace, and by an abundant and extraordinary grace at that, alone can accomplish it.’  It is the statement of that fundamental truth that of himself man can do nothing.  But he knew and we know too that with grace, humbly asked of God, we can do all things.  It is God’s answer to the Apostle who opened his heart to Him, when he complained of the strife to which the flesh subjected him.  ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’  Then the Apostle borne upward by his courageous faith cries: ‘I can do all things in Him Who strengtheneth me.’

(To be continued.)

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Filed under God, Holiness, Jesus Christ, Religion, Spiritual Life, Spirituality, Theology

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