Daily Thought For June 2, 2020
The Wonderful Effects of God’s Love
You are “my glory” (Ps 3:3) and “the joy of my heart” (Ps 119:111). You are my hope and “a refuge in the day of my distress” (Ps 59:16).
I need to be comforted and consoled by you because my love is so weak and my virtue so imperfect. Come to me often to teach me your holy way. Deliver me from unruly passions and cure my heart of all disordered affections, so that healed and purified interiorly, I may be able to love with constancy, despite my suffering.
Love is a great thing, in fact, the greatest of all, because it lightens every burden and bears every misfortune. It carries burdens without feeling them, and makes even bitterness sweet. This noble love of Jesus spurs us on to great things and moves us to always desire the most perfect. Love always wants to desire the highest goods, and does not want to seek out anything base. Love wants to be free, not tied down to affection for this world, so that its burning desire may not be hindered, entangled by luxury, or lessened by any discomfort. Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing more sublime, nothing more expansive, nothing more joyful, nothing more abundant, nothing more pleasing in heaven or on earth, because love is born from God, and it rests not in created things, but only in God.
One who loves flies, runs, rejoices, and is free, restrained by nothing. The lover gives all for all, and possesses all in all, because he rests in the one highest over all, that sovereign Good from whom all good proceeds and flows. Rather than getting lost in the gifts, the one who loves regards only the Giver. Love knows no measure, but burns with desire.
Love is not burdened by labors, thinks its efforts are nothing, and would like to do even more than it can. It makes no excuses, does not consider anything impossible, but believes that it can do all good things. It is ready to do anything, and it performs many deeds that would cause those who love less to faint and give up.
Love is always alert, even while sleeping. When tired it does not show fatigue; when pressed it is not constrained; when threatened it is not disturbed. But like a lively flame and a burning torch, it rises up and securely overcomes all opposition. The lover knows what to say. The soul’s ardent affection cries out to God: “My beloved is mine and I am his” (Song 2:16).
Prayer to Implore the Grace of God’s Love
“Let me sing for my beloved my love-song” (Isa 5:1). Let me follow you to the very heights, my Beloved. Let my soul lose itself in your praises, exulting in your love. Let me love you more than myself, and love myself only for you, and, as your law of love commands, may I love all those who love you.
Love is prompt, sincere, devout, joyous, and alive; strong, patient, faithful, prudent, long-suffering, courageous, and humble. When a person seeks self, that person no longer loves. Love is cautious, humble, and upright, not weak, careless, or vain. Love is sober, chaste, firm, quiet, and holds the senses in check.
Love is respectful and obedient to superiors, while lowly and humble in its own eyes. Remembering that one does not live in love without suffering, it is devout and grateful toward God, for it trusts and hopes even when God remains hidden.
Whoever is not ready to suffer all things and stand willingly before the Beloved, is not worthy to be called a lover. One who loves must wholeheartedly embrace all that is hard and bitter for the sake of the Beloved, and never be separated from him on account of painful events.
—From Book 3, Chapter 5 (nos. 1–8)
Thomas à Kempis. (2010). Solace in Suffering: Wisdom from Thomas à Kempis. (M. L. Hill, Ed.) (pp. 29–32). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.