"Today the concept of truth is viewed with suspicion, because truth is identified with violence. Over history there have, unfortunately, been episodes when people sought to defend the truth with violence. But they are two contrasting realities. Truth cannot be imposed with means other than itself! Truth can only come with its own light. Yet, we need truth. ... Without truth we are blind in the world, we have no path to follow. The great gift of Christ was that He enabled us to see the face of God".Pope Benedict xvi, February 24th, 2012

The Church is ecumenical, catholic, God-human, ageless, and it is therefore a blasphemy—an unpardonable blasphemy against Christ and against the Holy Ghost—to turn the Church into a national institution, to narrow her down to petty, transient, time-bound aspirations and ways of doing things. Her purpose is beyond nationality, ecumenical, all-embracing: to unite all men in Christ, all without exception to nation or race or social strata. - St Justin Popovitch

Thursday, 4 May 2017



This Latin phrase means “holy reading.” It refers, in the first instance, to the prayerful reading of the Bible, in which we believe God speaks personally to each one of us. St Benedict wanted monks to devote several hours a day to this work. In order to hear this word, it is not enough to read it off the page. God speaks through the human authors of the Bible, as well as through the people and events recorded there.

So monks devoted a lot of time to the study of the Bible as well as of other fields of knowledge in order to listen to God’s word as carefully as possible. The time for lectio divina therefore came to include study in a more general sense. Still, the intention was to teach monks to listen more attentively to God in their lives. The world of the Bible teaches us to see our own world, our work and relationships, as the place where God continues to call us and all things to find their fulfillment in him. This kind of wisdom is more important than knowledge, and it is learned by deepening our understanding of God’s love and realizing that He is the light which illuminates our search for Him in all things.

The Bible is the word of life for a monk. We listen to it in the Divine Office, and we use it as the source of our own prayer and praise of God. Contrary to what many non-Catholics think of our Church, we are very much a people of the Word and use that Word to guide our lives within the embrace of the Church.  When a monk does lectio divina on his own, usually it involves reading a passage slowly, always listening out for the way it “echoes” in his own heart through the power of the Holy Spirit. That is where meditation turns into prayer; it may be prayer for himself, or for others, a prayer of praise and thanksgiving to God. The word may draw him more deeply into himself in the worship of God and the search for His will.

Traditionally this pattern of prayerful reading came to be considered as having four elements: lectio – meditatio – oratio – contemplatio. These could be translated as reading (or listening), taking (or receiving) the word in our hearts, praying with the word, and wondering (or contemplating) at it.

The intention and the method are different from other ways of reading. Here, we are not trying to obtain information, or to find an intellectual understanding of the text, or to define a point of view in a debate. Instead, we are allowing the Word of God to work on us through faith so that it illuminates and guides us not just in our mind, but in our heart and soul also.

The Holy Spirit that inspired the Word, is also alive and active in the Christian through his or her baptism and personal faith. The Spirit, then, can bring together God’s truth and our thirst for it in a marvelous way.

And this has happened in the lives of the Saints so many times. For instance, the biblical text, “Sell what you have and give the money to the poor” rang through the heart of Saint Anthony of Egypt and began his wholehearted turning to God in the desert. When St Augustine heard a child in a garden chanting: “Pick up! Read!”, he opened the New Testament and the words of St Paul ended all his doubts and hesitations.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to be a Saint to do lectio divina! It is so simple, it is not even, strictly speaking, a method of prayer. It requires an openness, a simple faith, a belief that the Lord uses the Scriptures to teach and touch the lives of men and women who open themselves to it. I read not in order to learn something, or to find something to say about the text, or to see if I agree with it. I read in order to hear what the “still, small voice” of God is saying to me through these words today.

It is a patient, slow reading. The words can be chewed over not just at that moment, but throughout the day, until they begin to yield a message we understand. Sometimes it is consolation, at other times a rebuke. We may find it is encouragement, or a challenge. It is, by its nature, personal and intimate, not a matter of generalities or principles. And always it leaves us humble and at peace.

For those who fear that prayer is a one way conversation with God, Lectio Divina is how God breaks His silence and replies to us.

Here are some ‘lectio’ starters to help you begin…

What does the Lord your God require of you? Only this: to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah)

Jesus cried out: “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who lives in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” (John)

The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians)

If you would like to learn more about Lectio Divina, there are two really good books you might check out by Fr. Michael Casey:

Toward God:  The Ancient Wisdom of Western Prayer

Sacred Reading:  The Art of Lectio Divina          

by Consuelo Verdugo Member of the Manquehue Movement

The Manquehue Apostolic Movement
Posted on March 9, 2010 by SBrinkmann at Women of Grace
K asks: “Can you please tell me if the Manquehue Movement (began in Chile, lectio divina, communities) is an acceptable Catholic movement?  I am looking at a high school for my children, where the Benedictine monks promote this.  Thank you so much!”

We should all be so fortunate to have a high school in our area that is affiliated with the Manquehue Movement!

This is a beautiful lay Catholic movement that began in Santiago, Chili on the Feast of Pentecost in 1977. In his own words, founder Jose Manual Equiguren says he was 25 years-old and was going through an “existential crisis” in his life when a Benedictine monk “handed me the Sacred Scriptures and taught me to read them in such a way that it seemed as though Jesus Christ himself was revealing himself to me, risen and alive, shedding light on my life and filling it with meaning.”

What the monk taught him is a simple but powerful method of praying/reflecting on Scripture. (See http://www.ccel.org/info/lectio.htm )

Not long after this, Equiguren was put in charge of a Confirmation class in his old school. He decided to teach his students what the monk had taught him. Their response was remarkable, he says. “We soon became filled with ideals. We wanted to do things, change the world. We became friends, very good friends. We decided to organise ourselves and we called ourselves the Manquehue Apostolic Movement after the school we all belonged to, Manquehue School.”

Manquehue (pronounced Man-kay-way) is the name of a nearby mountain and means “place of condors” in the native Indian language.

Eventually, Equiguren and his companions began to incorporate the Benedictine Rule into their lifestyle, becoming a thriving new apostolic movement of lay people who work and pray together.

The Movement is very involved in education in Chile where adults tutor youth on how to establish a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through Scripture, daily prayer and the Sacraments, and to fully embrace their baptismal call to set the world on fire.

Because this is primarily a Benedictine spirituality, many schools run by Benedictines throughout the world introduce their students to the Manquehue Movement. In some cases, schools bring in Chilean members of the Movement to spend time in their schools and help students grow in their faith.

As for recognition by Rome, Equiguren has been received by the Pontifical Council for the Laity which indicates that some official status is probably in the works.

Congratulations, K! Looks like you found a great high school for your children!
How to do lectio divina
by José Manuel Eguiguren Guzman of the Manquehue Movement, Chile; 
translated by Abbot Patrick Barry, OSB

Lectio divina is a way of getting in touch daily in a personal way
with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; it is a way of getting in touch with Jesus Christ our Lord and our brother. It is away of reading centered on God and, if you do it with faith you will be able to hear what he has to say to you here at this moment.  It is a way of reading which is slow so that the words are savored in meditation. It moves from the literal meaning to what only the Spirit can make clear to you. It calls for action by your involvement and for passive surrender as it draws you into the heart of God. It is disinterested; the text must be read for its own sake and not for the achievement of having read it.

Lectio is a way of experiencing Jesus Christ. You will encounter him personally in the sacred scriptures because he is there hidden in the pages of your Bible and you ought to believe in his presence with greater assurance than if you could see him with your eyes.  He has the same power there as he revealed in the gospels and he cures you of your physical and moral ailments, brings his light to your everyday life and leads you to eternal life.

Your encounter is with the Word who loves you unconditionally and is ever present and real in your life. From all eternity God has had a plan for the whole course of your life, your personal fulfillment, your vocation, your happiness. You will surely stray from the right path and become alienated from your true self through serving other gods, if you do not allow him to reveal himself to you daily through his word. It is in
your Bible that the true story of your life is written. If you don’t at once
understand what you read, then have confidence that the Lord will reveal it to you in his own time, because no word comes form the mouth of the Lord without achieving in you the work he intended. If your thoughts and imagination get in the way of your prayer, then fling them immediately before Christ.  Make no attempt to master them by your own strength, but try to turn back to your prayer.

You ought to do lectio every day, even if it is only one single verse of the Bible, because, “It is not on bread alone that man lives but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)  Your reading of the word of God should be deliberate, moving slowly from verse to verse, from word to word, watching for the context, paying close attention to each passage, looking out for the answers that are there in sacred scripture itself and the echoes they evoke, watching the notes and marginal references and always treasuring silence so as to make space to listen. You should know that the word you hear is directed to you personally and individually. When you read the word of God, it speaks to you; when you pray, you speak to the word and so turn your prayer into conversation.

Your prayer may be simply staying with the word in silence, or it may be a thanksgiving, or a petition, or praise, or blessing, or contrition, or intercession, or one single word on which you pause and then repeat at will, or it may be a prayer of inspiration. If you are taking part in shared lectio, the way to share what the scripture has said to you is by means of a personal comment spoken in the first person singular and applied to your own life, or else it may be a prayer out loud offered directly to God.

 The Manquehue Movement’s Educational Vision
Young Chileans from the Manquehue movement put up a Cross built during a retreat

The Word of scripture & tutorías in the schools.
Besides academic excellence, then, there is a deeper aim to be achieved in and through all the activities and all the growth that the academic and other goals of a school imply. It is an aim that
can be summarized, but not adequately described, by the word 'evangelization', that is the bringing of the ‘good news’ of Christ to our fellow human beings in ways that they can understand and assimilate. José Manuel himself expressed in simple and compelling terms his own experience and his desire to share it with others:
At a time when nothing seemed to make sense to me, a Benedictine monk handed me the Sacred Scriptures and taught me to read them in such a way that it seemed as though Jesus Christ himself was revealing himself to me, risen and alive, shedding light on my life and filling it with meaning.
Having received that gift he wanted to share it and, when he was faced with a class of largely unwilling and uninterested eighteen year- olds, he saw at once that what they needed was what he had himself received:
All I did with them was to take the Bible and set about discovering how the Word of God speaks to each one individually. Their response was remarkable. We soon became filled with ideals. We wanted to do things, change the world. We became very good friends. Wedecided to organize ourselves and we called ourselves the Manquehue Apostolic Movement.
It was thus that, when a potentially hostile confrontation was converted into a shared experience, it began to take shape as an educational program. It developed rapidly. This rapid growth was due partly to José Manuel’s genius for friendship. It was also partly due to the factthat among the young with  whom he was dealing he was faced by those same crying needs from which he had himself suffered so recently. They are, in fact, the crying needs of the young at all times. Sometimes these needs are suppressed. Sometimes they break out in violent ways. Sometimes they are diverted into the pursuit of false ideals. Always they are there. 

It was to lead the young to the Christian response to these needs that the Movement started their schools. As they sought in this way to pass on what they had received they gradually discovered something new. When the original group gathered round their teacher, they were drawn together and led onwards in their work by a strong experience that led to the creation of a special instrument of the Movement, which they called tutorías. One of them remembers the early days:
We felt that we simply had to be with the children and tell them about our experience of Jesus Christ. A very special relationship began to grow up between a number of the older students and the younger ones. They helped train the younger sports teams, helped them with their studies or simply played with them in their free time. We began to discover how this special relationship, which we began to call tutoría, was in fact a precious vehicle for talking to children about this living God that had so much to do with their lives and all that was happening to them, who spoke to them through his Word and who heard their prayers.
It was in this way that at a very early stage, the whole concept of tutoría taken shape. It is the second vital element, after sharing through lectio the Word of God in scripture, in the educational theory and practice of the Movement. Tutoría is, in fact, so important to the Manquehue educational vision that José Manuel has described it as ‘the soul’ of his schools so that without it their “whole educational project would fall apart”. It is a unique feature since most of the tutors are still students (at school or university). They are not qualified educators in the ordinary secular sense of having a degree or other official academic certificate, although some of them have that sort of qualification. Their qualification for this work comes from their complete commitment to Christ through baptism, the sacraments and the daily practice of lectio in the Movement and the Movement is responsible for and guides their performance. 

This concept and how it worked out is so important that we must spend a little more time on it.

The word of scripture is the primary source book for tutorías. It is always available. Everyone in a Manquehue school has his or her own Bible. In tutorías they learn how to use it and listen to it. José Manuel explains:
Simply reading the Word is not good enough. What is needed is for the Word to be brought home to each person. We must remember what the Ethiopean eunuch in the Acts said to Philip: ‘How can I understand, if I have no one to guide me?’ This is where the tutors come in. They must play Philip to the children. A tutor might be a senior student, an alumnus (former pupil of the school) or one of the younger members of the Manquehue Movement who is assigned to a specific group of children with whom he or she over the course of time builds up a strong personal relationship. This enables him or her to take a real interest in the children’s well-being and how they are getting on at school and at home with a love that ensures that no child gets lost in a crowd.

Elsewhere José Manuel describes this as ‘rescuing a young person from anonymity’. Right from the beginning each child in the Manquehue schools is affirmed and saved by his tutor from feeling 'out of it'. This can achieve something of great and lasting significance. It is a way of evangelization enabling the child to identify with the mission of the School and of the laity within the school and in the Church – precisely as laity. This encourages the development of self-confidence, because self-confidence cannot grow in the vacuum of isolated self but only in the context of acceptance by others through love. The tutors themselves have experience of that context of love, just as the older children of a family do if it is founded on love. As younger members of the Movement every tutor has already been on the receiving end of tutoría. Thus,
when they volunteer to be tutors, they know well the needs they have themselves at an earlier stage experienced. Now it is their job to care personally for the younger children, to 'rescue them from anonymity' and 'reveal a living God' to them through the word of scripture, a God who speaks to them in the word of scripture and is at work in their everyday lives.

The young tutors, of course, work under the guidance and supervision of one of the Oblates, but that is in the background. It is important that a tutor is seen to be a real young person and not just an agent of adults. That makes the tutor one with whom small children can identify as an individual, so as to rescue the young not only from the spiritual neglect of anonymity but also from the domination of 'peer groups' or 'gangs'. A tutor can come to have an enormous influence in the life and faith of a younger boy or girl. Few adults are as credible in the eyes of an eight or ten year old as is an older student of sixteen or eighteen. Once the relationship is established it is not only in the weekly period that the tutors work with the pupils. They join and help them in many other activities, such as sport, outdoor activities etc. They help them to celebrate important events like birthdays. They become a constant support and inspiration to the younger pupil.

It may seem dangerous to let the young lead the young in this way, but it is important not to be unrealistic. The ordinary fact of life in western schools, as every parent discovers, is that the young are anyway led by the young through peer-group pressures and the teenage culture. The way of tutorías within the Movement is realistic in accepting this fact and providing an 'escape route' of real spiritual depth. It is effective in rescuing many from the worst effects of a spiritually empty common culture of peer-group domination.

The time comes, however, when the young children must move on. The weekly tutoría periods end when the children reach the age of fifteen. At this point the students can opt to join a shared lectio group run by the Manquehue Movement. These groups of between six and twelve people meet once a week, out of school hours, and currently just over half of the fifteen to eighteen year olds in our schools belong to a lectio group. It is important to mention that these lectio groups are not just something for the students. There are lectio groups made up of parents, teachers and maintenance staff as well. In their weekly meetings the students proclaim the Word and share with each other or pray out loud what God is saying to them. Each group is headed by a slightly older member of the Manquehue Movement. 

In school the whole tone of tutoría changes from about this age on. The relationship between the tutors and children gradually gives way to the provision of spiritual companionship for as many of the senior students who want it. iii Spiritual companionship arises naturally from shared lectio divina and from the weekly welcome of each other by the members of the community. It is closely related to the personal affirmation of each other, which in the Movement is called acogida and is quite simply an expression of the call to see Christ in each other which comes from the gospel iv and is strongly repeated in St Benedict's Rule

. Since all are following the same way they share their experience with the word and this is the foundation of their community. This sharing brings encouragement and confidence through which in Christ they rescue each other from the spiritual isolation and the loneliness that can be so profoundly threatening at this age. They are now growing into the way of life of the Movement under the guidance of the gospel and the Rule. 

The Movement through lectio, acogida, tutorías, spiritual companionship and the mutual support of the meditation communities has been doing nothing more than passing on to the young the teaching of Peter to the first generation of Christians:
Love one another deeply from the heart. You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.


Bl. Columba Marmion was born in Dublin, Ireland, on 1 April 1858 to an Irish father (William Marmion) and a French mother (Herminie Cordier). Given the name Joseph Aloysius at birth, he entered the Dublin diocesan seminary in 1874 and completed his theological studies at the College of the Propagation of the Faith in Rome. He was ordained a priest at St Agatha of the Goths on 16 June 1881.

He dreamed of becoming a missionary monk in Australia, but was won over by the liturgical atmosphere of the newly founded Abbey of Maredsous in Belgium, which he visited on his return to Ireland in 1881. His Bishop asked him to wait and appointed him curate in Dundrum, then professor at the major seminary in Clonliffe (1882-86). As the chaplain at a convent of Redemptorist nuns and at a women's prison, he learned to guide souls, to hear confessions, to counsel and to help the dying.
Abbot Placid Wolter

In 1886 he received his Bishop's permission to become a monk. He voluntarily renounced a promising ecclesiastical career and was welcomed at Maredsous by Abbot Placidus Wolter. His novitiate, under the iron rule of Dom Benoît D'Hondt and among a group of young novices (when he was almost 30), proved all the more difficult because he had to change habits, culture and language. But saying that he had entered the monastery to learn obedience, he let himself be moulded by monastic discipline, community life and choral prayer until his solemn profession on 10 February 1891.

He received his first "obedience" or mission when he was assigned to the small group of monks sent to found the Abbey of Mont César in Louvain. Although it distressed him, he gave his all to it for the sake of obedience. There he was entrusted with the task of Prior beside Abbot de Kerchove, and served as spiritual director and professor to all the young monks studying philosophy or theology in Louvain.

He started to devote more time to preaching retreats in Belgium and in the United Kingdom, and gave spiritual direction to many communities, particularly those of Carmelite nuns. He become the confessor of Mons. Joseph Mercier, the future Cardinal, and the two formed a lasting friendship.

During this period, Maredsous Abbey was governed by Dom Hildebrand de Hemptinne, its second Abbot, who in 1893 would become, at the request of Leo XIII, the first Primate of the Benedictine Confederation. His frequent stays in Rome required that he be replaced as Abbot of Maredsous, and it is Dom Columba Marmion who was elected the third Abbot of Maredsous on 28 September 1909, receiving the abbatial blessing on 3 October. He was placed at the head of a community of more than 100 monks, with a humanities college, a trade school and a farm to run. He also had to maintain a well-established reputation for research on the sources of the faith and to continue editing various publications, including the Revue Bénédictine.
Maredsous Abbey

His ongoing care of the community did not stop Dom Marmion from preaching retreats or giving regular spiritual direction. He was asked to help the Anglican monks of Caldey when they wished to convert to Catholicism. His greatest ordeal was the First World War. His decision to send the young monks to Ireland so that they could complete their education in peace led to additional work, dangerous trips and many anxieties. It also caused misunderstandings and conflicts between the two generations within this community shaken by the war. German lay brothers, who had been present since the monastery's foundation by Beuron Abbey, had to be sent home (despite the Benedictine vow of stability) at the outbreak of hostilities. After the war was over, a small group of monks was urgently dispatched to the Monastery of the Dormition in Jerusalem to replace the German monks expelled by the British authorities. Finally, the Belgian monasteries were separated from the Beuron Congregation, and in 1920 the Belgian Congregation of the Annunciation was set up with Maredsous, Mont César and St André of Zevenkerken.

His sole comfort during this period was preaching and giving spiritual direction. His secretary, Dom Raymond Thibaut, prepared his spiritual conferences for publication: Christ the Life of the Soul (1917), Christ in His Mysteries (1919) and Christ the Ideal of the Monk (1922). He was already considered an outstanding Abbot (Queen Elisabeth of Belgium consulted with him at length) and a great spiritual author.

He died during a flu epidemic on 30 January 1923.

Homily of the Holy Father
[English, French, Italian]

From L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly Edition in English 6 September 2000

my source: http://www.azquotes.com/author/30128-Columba_Marmion

Joy is the echo of God's life within us.
Columba Marmion
The ways of God are entirely different from our ways. To us it seems necessary to employ powerful means in order to produce great effects. This is not God's method; quite the contrary. He likes to choose the weakest instruments that He may confound the strong: "God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong - Infirma mundi elegit ut confundat fortia".
Columba Marmion  
Here is an example to help you understand the efficacy of the Rosary. You remember the story of David who vanquished Goliath. What steps did the young Israelite take to overthrow the giant? He struck him in the middle of the forehead with a pebble from his sling. If we regard the Philistine as representing evil and all its powers: heresy, impurity, pride, we can consider the little stones from the sling capable of overthrowing the enemy as symbolizing the Aves of the Rosary.
Columba Marmion
We show our adoration by going to visit Christ in the tabernacle or exposed in the monstrance. Would it not indeed be a failing in respect to neglect the divine Guest who awaits us? He dwells there, really present, He who was present in the crib, at Nazareth, upon the mountains of Judea, in the supper-room, upon the Cross. It is the same Jesus who said to the Samaritan woman, 'If thou didst know the gift of God!'
Columba Marmion
Have you not often met poor old women who are most faithful to the pious recitation of the Rosary? You also must do all that you can to recite it with fervour. Get right down, at the feet of Jesus: it is a good thing to make oneself small in the presence of so great a God.
Columba Marmion
O Christ Jesus, really present upon the altar, I cast myself down at Your feet; may all adoration be offered to You in the Sacrament which You left to us on the eve of Your Passion, as the testimony of the excess of Your love!
Columba Marmion

Joy is the echo of God's life within us.
Columba Marmion
The ways of God are entirely different from our ways. To us it seems necessary to employ powerful means in order to produce great effects. This is not God's method; quite the contrary. He likes to choose the weakest instruments that He may confound the strong: "God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong - Infirma mundi elegit ut confundat fortia".
Columba Marmion  
Here is an example to help you understand the efficacy of the Rosary. You remember the story of David who vanquished Goliath. What steps did the young Israelite take to overthrow the giant? He struck him in the middle of the forehead with a pebble from his sling. If we regard the Philistine as representing evil and all its powers: heresy, impurity, pride, we can consider the little stones from the sling capable of overthrowing the enemy as symbolizing the Aves of the Rosary.
Columba Marmion
We show our adoration by going to visit Christ in the tabernacle or exposed in the monstrance. Would it not indeed be a failing in respect to neglect the divine Guest who awaits us? He dwells there, really present, He who was present in the crib, at Nazareth, upon the mountains of Judea, in the supper-room, upon the Cross. It is the same Jesus who said to the Samaritan woman, 'If thou didst know the gift of God!'
Columba Marmion
Have you not often met poor old women who are most faithful to the pious recitation of the Rosary? You also must do all that you can to recite it with fervour. Get right down, at the feet of Jesus: it is a good thing to make oneself small in the presence of so great a God.
Columba Marmion
O Christ Jesus, really present upon the altar, I cast myself down at Your feet; may all adoration be offered to You in the Sacrament which You left to us on the eve of Your Passion, as the testimony of the excess of Your love!

Columba Marmion

Suffering with Christ
Quotations from Dom Marmion, OSB
With Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1952

Forty Selections

"Suffering is a world-wide fact. No man escapes it. It waits for every man to enter into the world and it walks him to the grave. It smites every man and grasps the whole of him: body and soul, heart and mind. It stalks him over the entire breadth of his being and of the multiple powers he bears within himself. 

Like the Cross, its loftiest and most meaningful symbol, suffering is scandal for some, folly for others. For others still, it is the acid test of faithfulness, the golden key to perfection and union with Christ, the fertile seed of glory." [From the Preface of the Book]

Our Lord is Master of His gifts and, without any merit on their part, He calls certain souls to more intimate union with Him, to share His sorrows and sufferings for the glory of His Father and the salvation of souls, Adimpleo in corpore meo quae desunt passionum Christi pro corpore ejus quod est Ecclesia: "I fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for His body, which is the Church." "We are the body of Christ and members of His; members." God could have saved men without them having to suffer or to merit, as He does in the case of little children who die after Baptism. But by a decree of His adorable wisdom, He had decided that the world's salvation should depend upon an expiation of which His Son Jesus should undergo the greater part but in which His members should be associated.
Many men neglect to supply their share of suffering accepted in union with Jesus Christ, and of prayers and good works. 

That is why our Lord chooses certain souls to be asso- ciated with Him in the great work of the Redemption. These are elect souls, victims of expiation and praise. These are  dear to Jesus beyond all one can imagine. [From Union with God, chapter 3, section 2]

Happy are those souls whom God calls to live only in th nudity of the Cross. It becomes for them an inexhaustible source of precious graces. 

Sufferings are the price and the sign of true divine favours. ...Works and foundations built upon the Cross and upon sufferings are alone lasting. 

The sufferings you have endured are for me a sign of the special benediction of the One Who, in His wisdom, chose to found all upon the Cross
[From Union with God, chapter 7]

It would be like blasphemy to believe that God is indifferent to our needs and sufferings. God always looks upon us with an infinite look, one that is infinitely intense, penetrating to the very depths of our soul and knowing all its griefs and its needs. 

Let us tell ourselves that every day, every hour, every instant of suffering borne with Jesus and for love of Him will be a new heaven for all eternity, and a new glory given God for ever. 

Let us never forget it: God alone is necessary. All else could be wanting; but He will never be wanting, and He alone is sufficient for us. 

In all circumstances we should have recourse to Jesus by prayer; He is our peace, our strength, our joy-and He belongs entirely to us. 

[From an unpublished text]

It is recounted of St. Mechtilde that, in her sorrows, she had the custom of taking refuge with our Lord and of abandoning herself to Him in all submission. Christ Jesus Himself had taught her to do this: "If a person wishes to make Me an acceptable offering, let him seek refuge in none beside Me in tribulation, and not complain of his griefs to anyone, but entrust to Me all the anxieties with which his heart is burdened. I will never forsake one who acts thus." We ought to accustom ourselves to tell everything to our Lord, to entrust to Him all that concerns us. "Commit thy way to the Lord," that is, reveal to Him thy thoughts, thy cares, thy anguish, and He Himself will guide thee: Revela Domino viam tuam, et spera in eo, et ipse faciet. How do most men act? They talk over their troubles either within themselves, or to others; few go to pour out their souls at the feet of Christ Jesus. And yet that is a prayer so pleasing to God, and so fruitful a practice for the soul! Look at the Psalmist, the singer inspired by the Holy Ghost. He discloses to God all that happens to him; he shows Him all the difficultIes that beset him, the afflictions that come to him through men, the anguish that fills his soul. "Look upon my weariness, my miseries, my sufferings! Why, O Lord, are they multiplied that afflict me? Domine quid multiplicati sunt qui tribulant me ...? Look upon me, and have mercy on me, for I am alone and poor. The troubles of my heart are multiplied: deliver me from my necessities. ..! Bow down Thy ear to me: make haste to deliver me. Be Thou unto me ...a house of refuge to save me. ...I am afflicted and humbled exceedingly. ..my groaning is not hidden from Thee. ..Withhold not Thou, O Lord, Thy tender mercies from me ...for evils without number have surrounded me. ...I am a beggar and poor, but the Lord is careful for me. ..." [From Christ, the Ideal of the Monk, Part II, chapter 16, section 4] 

If you contemplate with faith and devotion the sufferings of Jesus Christ you will have a revelation of God's love and justice; you will know, better than with any amount of reasoning, the malice of sin. This contemplation is like a sacramental causing the soul to share in that Divine sadness which invaded the soul of Jesus in the Garden of Olives, to share in His sentiments of religion and zeal and abandonment to the will of His Father. 

[From Christ, the Ideal of the Monk, Part II, chapter 8, section 6]

 It is above all on days of weariness, sickness, impatience, temptation, spiritual dryness, and trials, during hours of sometimes terrible anguish which press upon a soul, that holy abandonment is pleasing to God. 

More than once we have considered this truth, namely, that there is a sum total of sufferings, of humiliations and sorrows, which God has foreseen for the members of Christ's mystical body in order to "fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ." We cannot reach perfect union with Christ Jesus unless we accept that portion of the chalice which our Lord  wills to give us to drink with Him and after Him.

[From Christ, the Ideal of the Monk, Part II, chapter 16, section 4]

All the graces that adorn the soul and make it blossom forth in virtues have their inexhaustible source on Calvary: for this river of life gushed forth from the Heart and wounds of Jesus. 

Can we contemplate the magnificent work of our powerful High Priest without exulting in continual thanksgiving: Dilexit me et tradidit semetipsum pro me: "Who loved me," says St. Paul, "and delivered Himself for me"? The Apostle does not say, although it be the very truth: dilexit nos: "He loved us"; but "He loved me," that is to say, His love is distributed to all, while being appropriated to each one of us. The life, the humiliations, the sufferings, the Passion of Jesus --- all concern me. And how has He loved me? To love's last extremity: in finem dilexit. 

O most gentle High Priest, Who by Thy Blood hast reopened to me the doors of the Holy of Holies, Who ceaselessly dost intercede for me, to Thee be all praise and glory for evermore! [From Christ, the Ideal of the Monk, Part I, chapter 2, section 2]

  Devotion to the sufferings of Christ in the Way of the Cross is the one that is most closely linked to the Eucharistic Sacrifice; like the Mass, it continues to recall to us the death of Jesus: Mortem Domini annuntiabitis donec veniat

In order to have the Blood of Jesus applied to us as fully as possible, this is what must be done: Every morning unite yourself to Jesus, that with Him you may offer to the Father the Blood of Christ to be offered in every Mass that day. But make this act with great intensity of faith and love: in this way you will partake as fully as possible in the chalice of Jesus, for His Blood is offered in every Mass pro nostra omniumque salute

Then, when you make the Way of the Cross, offer anew to the heavenly Father at each station the Precious Blood, that it may be applied to your soul.

[From Abbot Marmion, chapter 18] 

We ought to unite ourselves to Jesus in His obedience, to accept all that our Heavenly Father lays upon us, through whomsoever it may be, even a Herod or a Pilate, from the moment that their authority becpmes legitimate. Let us also, even now, accept death in expiation for our sins, with all the circumstances wherewith it shall please Providence to surround it; let us accept it as a homage rendered to divine justice and holiness outraged by our iniquities; united with the death of Jesus it will become "precious in the sight of the Lord." 

My Divine Master, I unite myself to Thy Sacred Heart in Its perfect submission and entire abandonment to the Father's will. May the virtue of Thine grace produce in my soul that spirit of submission which will yield me unreservedly and without murmuring to the Divine good pleasure and to all that it shall please Thee to send me at the hour when I must leave this world. [From Christ in His Mysteries, Part II, chapter 14, section 2]

My Jesus, I accept all the crosses, all the contradictions, all the adversities that the Father has destined for me. May the unction of Thine grace give me strength to bear these crosses with the submission of which Thou gavest us the example in receiving Thine for us. May I never seek my glory save in the sharing of Thine sufferings! 
[From Christ in His Mysteries, Part II, chapter 14, section 2]

With Christ, prostrate before His Father, let us detest the risings of our vanity and ambition; let us acknowledge the extent of our frailty. As God casts down the proud, so the humble avowal of our infirmity draws down His mercy: Quomodo miseretur pater filiorum ... quoniam ipse cognotvit figmentum nostrum. Let us then cry to God for mercy, in the moments when we feel that we are weak in face of the cross, of temptation, of the accomplishment of the Divine will: Miserere mei, quoniam infirmus sum. It is when we thus humbly declare our infirmity that grace, which alone can save us, triumphs within us: Virtus in infirmitate perficitur. 

O Christ Jesus, prostrate beneath Thy Cross, I adore Thee. "Power of God," Thou showest Thyself overwhelmed with weakness so as to teach us humility and confound our pride. O High Priest, full of holiness, Who passed through our trials in order to be like unto us and to compassionate our infirmities, do not leave me to myself, for I am but frailty. May Thy power dwell in me, so that I fall not into evil: Ut inhabitet in me virtus Christi. [Ibid.]

Nothing that is human should hold us back in our path towards God; no natural love should trammel our love for Christ; we must pass onwards so as to remain united to Him. 

Let us ask the Blessed Virgin to associate us with her in the contemplation of the sufferings of Jesus, and to make us share in the compassion that she shows towards Him, that we may gain therefrom the hatred of sin which required such an expiation. It has at times pleased God to manifest sensibly the fruit produced by the contemplation of the Passion, by imprinting on the bodies of some Saints, such as St. Francis of Assisi, the stigmata of the wounds of Jesus. We ought not to wish for these outward marks; but we ought to ask that the image of the suffering Christ may be imprinted upon our hearts. Let us implore this precious grace from the Blessed Virgin: Sancta mater istud agas, crucifixi fige plagas cordi meo valide[Ibid.]

"And going out they found a man of Cyrene, named Simon, him they forced to take up His Cross." 

Jesus is exhausted. Although He be the Almighty, He wills that His sacred humanity, laden with all the sins of the world, shall feel the weight of justice and expiation. But He wants us to help Him carry His Cross. Simon represents us all, and Christ asks all of us to share in His sufferings; we are His disciples only upon this condition: "If any man will come after Me, let him ... take up his cross, and follow Me." The Father has decreed that a share of sorrow shall be left to His Son's mystical body, that a portion of expiation shall be borne by His members: Adimplebo ea quae desunt passionum Christi in carne mea pro corpore ejus, quod est Ecclesia. Jesus wills it likewise and it was in order to signify this Divine decree that He accepted the help of the Cyrenean. 

But at the same time, He merited for us the grace of fortitude wherewith to sustain trials generously. In His Cross He has placed the unction that makes ours tolerable; for in carrying our cross, it is truly His Own which we accept. He unites our sufferings to His sorrow, and He confers upon them, by this union, an inestimable value, the source of great merits. Our Lord said to St. Mechtilde: "As My divinity drew to itself the sufferings of My humanity, and made them its own (it is the dowry of the bride), thus will I transport thy pains into My divinity; I will unite them to My Passion and will make thee to share in that glory which My Father bestowed upon My scared hu,anity in return for all its sufferings."

Jesus, I accept from Thy hand the particles that Thou didst detach for me from Thy Cross. I accept all the disappointments, contradictions, sufferings and sorrows that Thou dost permit or that it pleases Thee to send me. I accept them as my share of expiation. Unite the little that I do to Thine unspeakable sufferings, for it is from them that mine will draw all their merit. [Ibid.]

A Woman Wipes the Face of Jesus 

Tradition relates that a woman, touched with compassion, drew near to Jesus, and offered Him a linen cloth to wipe His adorable face. 

Isaias had foretold of the suffering Jesus: "There is no beauty in Him, nor comeliness, and we have seen Him, and there was no sightliness, that we should be desirous of Him": Non est species ei, neque decor, nec reputavimus eum. The Gospel tells us that during those terrible hours after His apprehension the soldiers had dealt Him insolent blows, that they had spat in His face; the crowning with thorns had caused the blood to trickle down upon His sacred countenance. Christ Jesus willed to suffer all this in order to expiate our sins; He willed that we should be healed by the bruises that His Divine face received for us: Livore ejus sanati sum us. 

Being our Elder Brother, He has restored to us, by substituting Himself for us in His Passion, the grace that makes us the children of His Father. We must be like unto Him, since such is the very form of our predestination: Conformes fieri imaginis Filii sui. How can this be? All disfigured as He is by our sins, Christ in His Passion remains the beloved Son, the object of all His Father's delight. We are like to Him in this, if we keep within us the principle of our divine similitude, namely, sanctifying grace. Again we are like to Him in practising the virtues that He manifests during His Passion, in sharing the love that He bears towards His Father and towards souls, His patience, fortitude, meekness and gentleness. 

  O Heavenly Father, in return for the bruises that Thy Son Jesus willed to suffer for us, glorify Him, exalt Him, give unto Him that splendour which He merited when His adorable countenance was disfigured for our salvation. [Ibid.]

Jesus Falls the Second Time

Let us consider our Divine Saviour again sinking under the weight of the Cross. God has laid all the sins of the world upon His shoulders: Posuit Dominus in eo iniquitatem omnium nostrum. They are our sins that crush Him. He beholds them all in their multitude and in their every detail. He accepts them as His own to the extent that He no longer appears, according to St. Paul's own words, anything but a living sin: Pro nobis peccatum fecit. As the Eternal Word, Jesus is all-powerful; but He chooses to feel all the weakness of a burdened humanity: this wholly voluntary weakness honours the justice of His Heavenly Father, and merits strength for us. Never let us forget our infirmities; never let us give way to pride. However great may be the progress that we believe we have made, we always remain too weak of ourselves to carry our cross after Jesus: Sine me nihil potestis facere. The divine virtue that goes out from Him alone becomes our strength: Omnia possum in eo qui me confortat; but it is only given to us if we often ask for it. 

O Jesus, become weak for love of me, crushed under the weight of my sins, give me the strength that is in The, so that Thou alone mayest be glorified by my works.

Jesus Speaks to the Women of Jerusalem 

"And there followed Him a great multitude of people, and of women, who bewailed and lamented Him. But Jesus, turning to them, said: Daughters of Jesusalem, weep not over Me; but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold the days shall come, wherein they will say: Blessed are the barren. ... Then shall they begin to say to the mountains: Fall upon us. ... For if in the green wood they do these things, what shall be done in the dry?" 

Jesus knows the ineffable exigencies of His Father's justice and holiness. He reminds the daughters of Jerusalem that this justice and this holiness are adorable perfections of the Divine Being. Jesus Himself is "a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners." He does but substitute Himself for them; and yet see with what rigour divine justice strikes Him. If this justice requires of Him so extensive an expiation, what will be the rigour of the stripes dealt to the guilty who obstinately refuse to unite their share of expiation to the sufferings of Christ? Horrendum est incidere in manus Dei viventis. Upon that day, the confusion of human pride will be so great, so terrible will be the chastisement of those who wanted to do without God, that these unhappy ones, outcast from God for ever, will ganash their teeth in despair ... [Ibid.]

 Jesus Falls for the Third Time

 "The Lord was pleased to bruise Him in infirmity," said Isaias, speaking of Christ during His Passion: Dominus voluit conterere eum in infirmitate. Jesus is crushed beneath the weight of justice. We shall never be able, even in Heaven, to measure what it was for Jesus to be subject to the darts of divine justice. No creature has borne the weight of it in all its fullness, not even the damned have done so. But the sacred humanity of Jesus, united to this divine justice by immediate contact, has undergone all its power and all its rigour. This is why, as a Victim Who has delivered Himself out of love to all its action, He falls prostrate, crushed and broken beneath its weight. 

O my Jesus, teach me to detest sin which obliges justice to require of Thee such expiation. Grant that I may unite all my sufferings to Thine, so that by them my sins may be blotted out and I may make satisfaction even here below. 

 Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

"They parted My garments amongst them; and upon My vesture they cast lots." This is the prophecy of the Psalmist. Jesus is stripped of everything and placed in the nakedness of utter poverty; He does not even dispose of His garments; for, as soon as He is raised upon the Cross, the soldiers will divide them among themselves and will cast lots for His coat. Jesus, moved by the Holy Spirit: Per Spiritum sanctum semetipsum obtulit Deo, yields Himself to His executioners as the Victim for our sins. 
Nothing is so glorious to God or so useful to our souls as to unite the offering of ourselves, absolutely and without condition, to the offering which Jesus made at the moment when He gave Himself up to the executioners to be stripped of His raiment and fastened to the Cross, "that through His poverty, [we] might be rich." This offering of ourselves is a true sacrifice; this immolation to the divine good pleasure is the basis of all spiritual life. But in order that it may gain all its worth, we must unite it to that of Jesus, for it is by this oblation that He has sanctified us all: In qua voluntate sanctificati sumus

O my Jesus, accept the offering that I make to Thee of all my being; join it to that which Thou didst make to Thy Heavenly Father at the moment of reaching Calvary; strip me of all attachment to created things and to myself! [Ibid.]

Jesus is Nailed to the Cross 

"They crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on each side, and Jesus in the midst." Jesus delivers Himself up to His executioners "dumb as a lamb before his shearer. The torture of the nails being driven into the hands and feet is inexpressible. Still less could anyone describe all that the Sacred Heart of Jesus endured in the midst of these torments. Jesus must doubtless have repeated the words He had said on entering into this world: Father, Thou wouldst no more holocausts of animals; they are insufficient to acknowledge Thy sanctity ... "but a body Thou hast fitted to Me": Corpus autem aptasti mihi. "Behold I come." 

Jesus unceasingly gazes into the face of His Father, and, with incommensurable love, He yields up His body to repair the insults offered to the Eternal Majesty: Factus obediens usque ad mortem. And what manner of death does He undergo? The death of the Cross: Mortem autem crucis. Why is this? Because it is written: "Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree." He willed to be "reputed with the wicked," in order to declare the sovereign rights of the Divine Sanctity. 

He delivers Himself likewise for us. Jesus, being God, saw us all at that moment; He offered Himself to redeem us because it is to Him, High Priest and Mediator, that the Father has given us: Quia tui sunt. What a revelation of the love of Jesus for us! ...

O Jesus, Who "in obeying the will of the Father, and through the co-operation of the Holy Ghost did by Thy death give life to the world; deliver me, by Thy most sacred Body and Blood, from all my iniquities and from all evils; make me ever adhere to Thy commandments and never suffer me to be separated from Thee." [Ibid.]

Jesus Dies Upon the Cross

"And Jesus crying with a loud voice said: Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit. And saying this, He gave up the ghost." After three hours of indescribable sufferings, Jesus dies. The only oblation worthy of God, the one sacrifice that redeems the world, and sanctifies souls is consummated: Una enim oblatione consummavit in sempiternum sanctificatos. 

Christ Jesus had promised that when He should be lifted up from the earth, He would draw all things to Himself: Et ego si exaltatus fuero a terra, omnia traham ad meipsum. We belong to Him by a double title: as creatures drawn out of nothing by Him, for Him; as souls redeemed by His precious Blood: Redemisti nos, Domine, in sanguine tuo. A single drop of the Blood of Jesus, the God-Man, would have sufficed to save us, for everything in Him is of infinite value; but besides many other reasons, it was to manifest to us the extent of His love that He shed His Blood to the last drop when His Sacred Heart was pierced. And it was for all of us that He shed it. Each one can repeat in all truth the burning words of St. Paul: He "loved me, and delivered Himself for me." 

Let us implore Him to draw us to His Sacred Heart by the virtue of His death upon the Cross; to grant that we may die to our self-love and our self-will, the sources of so many infidelities and sins, and that we may live for Him Who died for us. Since it is to His death that we owe the life of our souls, is it not just that we should live only for Him? Ut et qui vivunt, jam non sibi vivant, sed ei qui pro ipsis mortuus est. 

O Father, glorify Thy Son hanging upon the gibbet. Since He humbled Himself even to the death of the Cross, exalt Him; may the name that Thou hast given Him be glorified, may every knee bow before Him, and every tongue confess that Thy Son Jesus lives henceforward in Thy eternal glory! [Ibid.]

The Body of Jesus is Taken Down From the Cross and Given to His Mother 

The mangled body of Jesus is restored to Mary. We cannot imagine the grief of the Blessed Virgin at this moment. Never did mother love her child as Mary loved Jesus; the Holy Spirit had fashioned within her a mother's heart to love a God-Man. Never did human heart beat with more tenderness for the Word Incarnate than did the heart of Mary; for she was full of grace, and her love met with no obstacle to its expansion. 

Then she owed all to Jesus; her Immaculate Conception, the privileges that make of her a unique creature had been given to her in prevision of the death of her Son. What unutterable sorrow was hers when she received the blood-stained body of Jesus into her arms! 

Let us throw ourselves down at her feet and ask her forgiveness for the sins that were the cause of so many sufferings. 

O Mother, fount of love, make me understand the strength of thy love, so that I may share thy grief; make my heart glow with love for Christ, my God, so that I may think only of pleasing Him. [Ibid.]

 Jesus is Laid in the Sepulchre 

Joseph of Arimathea, having taken the body of Jesus down from the Cross, "wrapped Him in fine linen, and laid Him in a sepulchre that was hewed in stone, wherein never yet any man had been laid." 

St. Paul says that Christ was "in all things to be made like unto His brethren"; even in His burial, Jesus is one of us. They bound the body of Jesus, says St. John, "in linen cloths, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury." But the body of Jesus, united to the Word, was not "to suffer "corruption." He was to remain scarcely three days in the tomb; by His own power, Jesus was to come forth victorious over death, resplendent with life and glory, and death was no more to "have dominion over Him." 

The Apostle St. Paul tells us again that "we are buried gether with Him by Baptism" so that we may die to sin: Consepulti enim sumus cum ilIa per baptismum in mortem. The waters of Baptism are like a sepulchre, where we have left sin behind, and whence we come forth, animated by new life, the life of grace. The sacramental virtue of our Baptism for ever endures. In uniting ourselves by faith and love to Christ laid in the tomb, we renew this grace of dying to sin in order to live only for God.
Lord Jesus, may I bury in Thy tomb all my sins, all my failings, all my infidelities; by the virtue of Thy death and burial, give me grace to renounce more and more all that separates me from Yhee; to renounce Satan, the world's maxims, my self-love. By the virtue of Thy Resurrection grant that, like Thee, I may no longer live save for the glory of Thy Father! [Ibid.]


In the divine plan, Mary is inseparable from Jesus, and our holiness consists in entering as far as we can into the divine economy. In God's eternal thoughts, Mary belongs indeed to the very essence of the mystery of Christ; Mother of Jesus, she is the Mother of Him in Whom we find everything. According to the divine plan, life is only given to mankind through Christ the Man-God: Nemo venit ad Patrem nisi per me, but Christ is only given to the world through Mary: Propter nos homines et propter nostram salu tem, descendit de caelis et incarnatus est ... ex Maria Virgine. This is the divine order and it is unchanging. For, notice that this order was not meant only for the day when the Incarnation took place; it still continues as regards the application of the fruits of the Incarnation to souls. Why is this? Because the source of grace is Christ, the Incarnate Word; but as Christ, as Mediator, He remains inseparable from the human nature which He took from the Virgin. 

[From Christ, the Life of the Soul, Part II, chapter 12, section 4] 


We may associate ourselves with the Passion by bearing, for love of Christ, the sufferings and adversities which, in the designs of His providence, He permits us to undergo. 

There is here an essential truth. upon which we ought to meditate. 

The Word Incarnate, Head of the Church, took His share, the greater share, of sorrows; but He chose to leave to His Church, which is His mystical body, a share of suffering. St. Paul demonstrates this by a profound and strange saying. "I ... fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for His body which is the Church." [From Christ in His Mysteries, Part II, chapter 13, section 4]


It is impossible, dear child, to arrive at intimate union with a crucified Love, without feeling at times the thorns and nails. It is this which causes the union. You must not be discouraged if our Lord lets you see a little of your misery. [From Union with God, chapter 3, section 2] 


You are on the right road to God, a road which ever leads to Him despite our weakness. It is the road of duty accomplished through love despite obstacles. Jesus is our strength; our weakness assumed by Him become divine weakness, and it is stronger than all the strength of man. [Ibid.] 


Let us also accept willingly the mortifications sent to us by Providence: hunger, cold, heat, small inconveniences of place or time, slight contradictions coming from those around us. You may again say that these things are trifles; yes, but trifles that form part of the divine plan for us. Is not that enough to make us accept them with love? 

Finally, let us accept illness, if sent to us by God, or what is sometimes more painful, a state of habitual ill-health, an infirmity that never leaves us; adversities, spiritual aridity; to accept all these things can become very mortifying for nature. If we do so with loving submission, without ever relaxing in the service we owe to God, although Heaven seems to be cold and deaf to us, our soul will open more and more to the divine action. For, according to the saying of St. Paul, "all things work together unto good" to those whom God calls to share His glory. [From Christ, the Ideal of the Monk, Part II, chapter 9, section 4] 


For spiritual direction I say this: I desire that you should try, with the grace of God, to suffer in silence. When Jesus, Eternal Wisdom, was treated like a fool and scoffed at by Herod's soldiers, He "remained silent." For it is by patience that we possess our soul, and it is a great thing and a great source of strength to possess it so. 
[From Union with God, chapter 7]


As interior practice, I feel more and more urged to lose myself in Jesus Christ. May He think and will in me and bear me towards His Father. In the Pater, the only petition that He teaches us to make to God for our souls is Fiat voluntas tua SIGUT IN COELO. I try to love His holy will in the thousand little vexations and interruptions of each day. [Abbot Columba Marmion, chapter 8] 


I try to meet all vexations with a smile. [Abbot Columba Marmion, chapter 17]


God will care for you just insofar as you cast yourself and and your cares on the bosom of His paternal love and providence. [From Union with God, chapter 4, section 3] 


Abandon yourself blindly into the hands of this Heavenly Father Who loves you better and more than you love yourself. [Ibid.]


Abandon yourself blindly to Love; He will take care of you despite every difficulty. Nothing honours God so much as this surrender of oneself into His Hands. Ibid.]


The best form of mortification is to accept with all our heart; in spite of our repugnance, all that God sends or permits, good and evil, joy and suffering. I try to do this. Let us try to do it together and to help one another to reach that absolute abandonment into the hands of God. [Abbot Columba Marmion, chapter 17] 


I find absolute submission to God's will a sovereign remedy in every trouble, and when I consider that in reality God's will is God Himself, I see that this submission is but the supreme adoration due to God, due to Him in whatever manner He may manifest Himself. [Abbot Columba Marmion, chapter 6]

Once it is thoroughly understood that the will of God is the same thing as God Himself, we see that we ought to prefer His adorable will to all besides, and take it, in what it does, in what it ordains, in what it permits, as the one norm of ours. Let us keep our eyes fixed upon this holy will, and not upon the things that cause us pain and trouble. [Abbot Columba Marmion, chapter 8]

Holy Abandonment, an Act of Faith 

To put our confidence in God, is it not indeed to believe in His word? to be assured that in listening to Him we shall attain to holiness, that in abandoning ourselves to Him, He will bring us to beatitude? This faith is easy when we meet with no difficulty, and walk in a way of light and consolation: it is a little like the case of those who read the account of expeditions to the North Pole while comfortably sitting by the fireside. But when we are struggling with temptation, with suffering and trial, when we are in dryness of heart and spiritual darkness, then it needs a strong faith to abandon ourselves to God and remain entirely united to His holy will. The more difficult the exercise of this faith is for us, the more pleasing to God is the homage that flows from it. [From Christ, the Ideal of the Monk, Part II, chapter 16, section 5]

Holy Abandonment, an Act of Hope 

Sometimes, it seems to us as if God does not keep His promises, that we are mistaken in confiding ourselves to Him. Let us however learn how to wait patiently. Let us say to Him: "My God, I know not where Thou art leading me, but I am sure that if I do not separate myself from Thee, if I remain generously faithful to all that Thou askest of me, Thou wilt be solicitous for my soul and for my perfection. Therefore, though I should walk m the midst of the shadow of death, even if all should seem to be lost, I will fear nothing for Thou art with me, and Thou art faithful." This is an admirable, heroic act of confidence in God, suggested by the spirit of abandonment; an act which glorifies God's almighty power, and forces from Him, as it were, the most precious favours. [From Christ, the Ideal of the Monk, Part II, chapter 16, section 5] 

Holy Abandonment, an Act of Love 

The love which abandonment supposes is so great that it honours God perfectly. Is it not equivalent to this declaration: "I love Thee so much, O my God, that I want none but Thee; I only want to know and do Thy will; I lay down my will before Thine, I wish to be directed only by Thee. I leave to Thee all that is to befall me. Even if Thou shouldst leave me the choice of Thy graces, the liberty of arranging all things according to my will, I would say: No, Lord, I prefer to commend myself wholly to Thee; dispose of me entirely, both in the vicissitudes of my natural life, and in the stages of my pilgrimage towards Thee; dispose of everything according to Thy good pleasure, for Thy glory. I desire one thing alone: that all within me may be fully subject to Thy good pleasure, to Thyself and to those who hold Thy place; and this, whatever be Thy will, whether it leads me by a flower-bordered path, or makes me pass by the way of suffering and darkness"? Such language is the translation of ., perfect love; the spirit of self-surrender which is nourished with such dispositions of love and complacency and makes us find in them the rule of all our conduct is likewise the source of a continual homage to the wisdom and power of God. [From Christ, the Ideal of the Monk, Part II, chapter 16, section 5] 


Indeed holy abandonment is one of the purest and most absolute forms of love; it is the height of love; it is love giving to God, unreservedly, our whole being, with all its energies and activities in order that we may be a veritable holocaust to God: when the spirit of abandonment to God animates [a monk's] whole life, that monk has attained holiness. What in fact is holiness? It is substantially the conformity of all our being to God; it is the amen said by the whole being and its faculties to all the rights of God; it is the fiat full of love, whereby the whole creature responds, unceasingly and unfalteringly, to all the divine will: and that which causes us to say this amen, to utter this fiat, that which surrenders, in a perfect donation, the whole being to God is the spirit of abandonment, a spirit which is the sum total of faith, confidence and love. [From Christ, the Ideal of the Monk, Part II, chapter 16, introductory remarks] 

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