Charity – Twelfth Day of November
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart. This is the greatest and the first commandment,
and the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” — St. Matt. 22:38
Would you know the extent of your love for God? Examine your desire for sufferings and humiliations. A soul grows in divine love in proportion as it desires to suffer and be humbled. These are the certain marks of this heavenly fire; all the rest is but smoke. — St. Vincent de Paul.
St. John of the Cross asked of Our Saviour as a recompense for the pains and persecutions he had endured that he might suffer still more, be humbled more and more, To suffer and be despised for Thee, he said.
St. Matilda, hearing these words of the Gospel, Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me more than these? was like one ravished with joy. In her ecstasy she seemed to hear Jesus Christ say: “Matilda, lovest thou Me more than all the world?” She replied: “Thou knowest, Lord, that I love Thee.” Our Saviour continued: “Lovest thou Me enough to suffer pains, torments, and humiliations?” She replied: “Thou knowest there is no cross that can separate me from Thee.” “But,” said Our Lord still further, “if thy torments were frightful, wouldst thou suffer them with joy for love of Me?” “Yes, my God, I am ready. I will think myself happy to have something to suffer for Thee, Who hast suffered for me. All will seem light when I think that Thou for love of me hast become a Man of sorrows.”
St. Benedict Joseph Labre showed clearly by his conduct that he was burning with the desire to suffer and to be humbled; his great love for Jesus Christ gave him this ardent desire. One of his ejaculatory prayers was: “O Jesus, my Love, I give Thee my heart! O Saviour, infinitely amiable, place in my heart Thy Passion.”
My God, give me a love and a desire for suffering, for humiliation; permit no cross to separate me from Thee. Implant in my heart the Passion of Jesus Christ, that I may think it a happiness to suffer for Him.