Stretch Out Your Hand

Night is coming on, 0 Jesus hidden within the Host; my hands are empty of virtues, and I need your merits and your cross to fill them. But where shall I find these graces? Where shall I turn to look for these treasures, if not to the foot of the beloved altar where you dwell 0 my adorable Master?…

There are immense areas of neglect in my life: I have not always done my duty to my neighbour, or to the members of my family, nor have I fulfilled the most holy obligations of religion.

Instead of seeking God, I have sought myself. I have desired comforts, I have been vainglorious and obstinate in defending my own opinion. I have taken pleasure in worldly friendships, and have sought my own gratification even in my special prayer time alone with you. How often have I yielded to a desire to have others approve of me, to being too easily hurt, to culpable weaknesses!…

Where are the humility, the patience, the obedience, the gentleness, the costly victories; where the sacrifice, which was to be the very essence of my life…?

And this is why I suffer, because my hands are empty….

Everything shall pass away, 0 Master of my life! The days and nights, the months and the years, the light and the darkness, the creatures that surround me; but you will never pass away…. You will remain with me forever!… Your affection, your tenderness and your love do not change, do not pass away but remain forever!

That is why I place all my happiness in possessing you, in having you to be mine; in adoring you with all the powers of my soul….

What an unutterable consolation to keep one’s eyes fixed on your divine Heart, so good, so loving; and to hear you saying in my inmost soul: My child, give me your heart.

Venerable Concepcion Cabrera de Armida (Conchita; 11937) was a wife, mother, and writer in Mexico.

Posted in Magnificat | Comments Off on

Living As Beggars for Heaven

Let it be the common goal of all to neither quit once you’ve begun, nor to faint in times of trouble, nor to say, “We have lived in asceticism long enough.” Rather, let us increase our zeal as though every day is the beginning of the journey. The life of man is very short and measured by the ages to come, so all our earthly life is nothing when compared to eternal life.
In this world, everything is sold at its price, and a man exchanges one thing for another thing of equal value. However, the promise of eternal life is bought for something of much less value. For it is written, ‘The days of our life in them are seventy years, but if they are in strength, eighty years, and what is more than these is labour and sorrow.” Therefore, whenever we live a full eighty years (or even a hundred) in asceticism, we shall reign not for only a hundred years, but we shall reign for ever and ever. Even though we fought on earth, we shall not receive our reward on earth because we have the promises in heaven. Having put off the body which is corruptible, we shall receive it incorruptible.
Therefore, children, let us not faint nor think that the time is too long, or that we are doing something great, “for the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us”. Nor should we think, as we look back at the world, that we have abandoned anything worthy of our return, for the whole earth is insignificant compared with the of Heaven.
Therefore, even if by chance we were lords over all the earth and gave it up, it would be unworthy of comparison with the Kingdom of heaven.
Saint Anthony of the Desert.
Saint Anthony (356) was a hermit and a great counsellor to clergy, monks, and lay people.

Posted in Magnificat | Comments Off on Living As Beggars for Heaven

The Fulfilment Jesus Brings

Jesus always acts out of love. From the home of the Trinity he brought us a great love, infinite, divine, a love that reaches—as the Fathers of the Church say—even to the point of folly….

In his freedom, however, man can refuse the greatness conferred upon him according to God’s plan. He can seek to fulfil himself according to his own plans and pursue a different future than that promised by God. He can seek to guarantee his own future, as did the pagan nations—according to the testimony of Scripture—through the search for riches, reliance on human strengths, covenants with powerful foreigners, and the possession of sacred things. Thus, humanity falls in its misery. It no longer hopes in God, but follows false hopes….

The Lord, especially through the prophets, does not cease to call men and women to the true hope that is

Jesus, the only Saviour. In Jesus we have been given the light of truth, the remission of sins, the restoration of freedom from the forces of evil, a new ability to love, participation in the divine nature, victory over death through the resurrection of the body, and life eternal.

Jesus comes to meet human misery. Saving us, he made his Gospel and his grace the renewing principle of the world and, above all, of humanity in all areas of existence: private and public, cultural and social, politicat and economic. To restore all things in Christ

In ecstasy before Jesus who is Deus meus et omnia (my God and my all), I desire to be, together with him, a source of hope in the garden of the world.

Venerable Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan

Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan (t 2002) was imprisoned by the ^ Vietnamese government for thirteen years.

Posted in Magnificat | Comments Off on The Fulfilment Jesus Brings