14 May 2014

Prayer and the Kingdom of Love

"The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades.

A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules...

The world tells us to seek success, power and money: our God tells us to seek humility, service, and love. Prayer, humility, and charity toward all are essential in the Christian life; they are the way to holiness.”

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Francis I

But I am just a simple person. I am no great thinker. I am weak, and afraid of failure, to look foolish.  I can do no great things. 

“The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent,  nor the daisy of its simple charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, Spring would lose its loveliness. And so it is in the world of souls, our Lord's living garden.

A word or a smile is often enough to put fresh life in a despondent soul...

I get tired of the darkness all around me. The darkness itself seems to borrow, from the sinners who live in it, the gift of their speech. I hear its mocking accents: 'It's all a dream, this talk of a heavenly country of a God who made it all, who is to be yours  in eternity. All right, go on longing for death!  But death will make nonsense of your hopes; it will only mean a night darker than ever, the night of mere non-existence!'

This world is a ship, not your home...

Oh! What mysteries will be revealed to us later. How often have I thought that I perhaps owe all the graces showered upon me to the earnest prayers of a little soul whom I shall know only in Heaven.

It is God's will that in this world by means of prayer heavenly treasures should be imparted by souls one to another, so that when they reach their home with the Father they may love one another with a love born of gratitude, with an affection far, far exceeding the most ideal family affection upon earth.

There we shall meet with no indifferent looks, because all the saints will be indebted to each other.

No envious glances will be seen; the happiness of every one of the saved will be the happiness of all. With the Martyrs we shall be like to the Martyrs; with the Doctors we shall be as the Doctors; with the Virgins, as the Virgins; and just as the members of a family are proud of one another, so shall we be of our family, without the least jealousy.

Who knows even if the joy we shall experience in beholding the glory of the great Saints, and knowing that by a secret disposition of Providence we have contributed to it, who knows if this joy will not be as intense and sweeter perhaps, than the happiness they will themselves possess.

And do you not think that on their side the great Saints, seeing what they owe to quite little souls, will love them with an incomparable love? Delightful and surprising will be the friendships found there - I am sure of it. The favored companion of an Apostle or a great Doctor of the Church, will perhaps be a young shepherd lad; and a simple little child may be the intimate friend of a Patriarch. Oh! how I long to dwell in that Kingdom of Love...

Time is but a shadow, a dream; already God sees us in glory and takes joy in our eternal blessings. How this thought helps my soul! I understand then why He lets us suffer... Life is passing, Eternity draws closer: soon shall we live the very life of God. After having drunk deeply at the fountain of bitterness, our thirst will be quenched forever at the very source of all sweetness."

Thérèse de Lisieux

"We are all flowers planted on this earth, which God plucks in His own good time: some a little sooner, some a little later.

As father and child may we meet in Paradise.

I, poor little moth, go first. Adieu."

St. Jean-Théophane Vénard, Letter To His Father