Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Saints

For All Saints Day, I offer you, in the words of Dom Marmion, “the teaching that our Lord Himself gave to St. Mechtilde” on suffering.
“One day whilst she was thinking that her illness made her useless and that her sufferings were unavailing, the Lord said to her: “Place all your pains in My Heart and I will give them the most absolute perfection that suffering can possess. As My divinity drew to itself the sufferings of My humanity and made them its own, so will I transport your pains into My divinity, I will unite them to My Passion and make you share in that glory which God the Father has bestowed on My sacred humanity in return for all its sufferings. Confide, therefore, each of your pains to Love in saying: ‘O Love, I give them to You with the same intention that You had when You did bring them to me from the Heart of God, and I beseech You to offer them to Him again, made perfect by intensest gratitude…’” “My Passion,” added Christ Jesus, “bore infinite fruit in heaven and upon earth; thus your pains, your tribulations offered to Me and united to My Passion will be so fruitful that they will procure more glory for the elect, new merit for the just, forgiveness for sinners, and an alleviation of their pains for the souls in purgatory. What is there indeed that My Heart cannot change for the better, since it is from the goodness of My Heart that all good flows both in heaven and on earth?” (From Suffering with Christ: An Anthology of the Writings of Dom Columba Marmion, OSB)
As I found myself last week in a very cold place that even sweaters and woolens could do little to help, Dom Marmion emerged from the rows of books in the library of the monastery where I was staying. He is an old friend from before my illness, with whom I sat for a while as my limbs stiffened with chill, and finding this passage in the anthology, sipping apple cinnamon tea, I thought of you.

It is good to remember that as we suffer our sufferings of illness, there are nuns and monks living in voluntary poverty for the sake of penance, freezing in monasteries all over the world! No matter where we are, or what we choose for ourselves, what is chosen for us by God is that we enter into His Passion in some way or other, accepting whatever His way for us might be with trust and gratitude, in order that we may reap the abundant fruit such communion bears.

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