Daily Thought For March 30, 2021

 Love, Sorrow, Fruitfulness

One of the most important things in the spiritual life is to understand well the close relationship between love and sacrifice. It is easily understood that love is the basis of perfection, and the soul delights in confirming it. For love marvelously corresponds to something deep that the soul bears in its interior: a vital yearning that is vehement and, in a certain sense, unparalleled. And when we come in contact with what is fleeting and superficial, the emptiness of the affections of earth, we impetuously fling toward divine love. That love is so profound that it reaches to the deepest part of our soul, into regions that mundane affections never touch. It is so perfect that it satisfies forever without ever tiring. It is so enduring that it is immortal and so abiding that nothing and no one can uproot it when it has implanted itself in our heart.

Frequently, however, one has an inexact concept of love.… It [the soul] does not understand that in this life, to love is to suffer, that on this earth, the eternal symbol of love is the cross of Christ.…

When we come to understand that perfection consists in love, and that this love is attained, conserved, and consummated only by sacrifice, then we have found the path of sanctity, for then we have entered the luminous region of truth.…

Love snatches the soul from all things, even from itself, and places it in ineffable and magnificent solitude.… Ordinarily we do not take account of the solitariness that love causes in our hearts except when separation or death deprives us of that beloved object upon whom love centers our lives and our beings, after isolating us from all other things. Who has not felt this? The world has not changed. Life follows its course, the sky remains blue, flowers diffuse their perfumes, birds sing, the sun warms and gives life, the same things surround us and the same people associate with us. But alas, one thing is absent, one thing alone. It is enough to make us feel lonely in the midst of a multitude, to induce a vast void in the soul, to make the earth appear to us like a desert.…

… [T]here is no comparison between the solitariness produced by human love and that which divine love demands, for there is no comparison between these two loves. Human love is shallow, divine love is profound. The first is partial and fragmentary; it never completely embraces the heart. The second is entire, absorbing, unparalleled. Human love has its own tint, and excludes at least all affections of that shade, but divine love embraces all colors, and consequently it excludes all other loves.

… [W]hat can I give to God, if he is in himself eternally rich, happy, the fount of love, and ocean of beatitude? What can I give him, if I receive everything from him?

Lord, I feel the compelling need to love you. It is my duty, my glory, my happiness. If I do not love you, my life has no reason for being. O God of love! If love consists in giving, how can I love you? And if I cannot love you, how can I live?

There is one thing I can give to God, only one; I can give him glory. The universe was created for the glory of God. Christ lived and the Church exists for the glory of God. I ought to live for the glory of God. To love God is to give him glory. The motto of Saint Ignatius, “For the greater glory of God,” is the supreme formula of love.…

When I give glory to God, I do a divine work. My action has the same end as the action of God. I rise above all created things. I enter into the thoughts and desires of God. If it were known what the glory of God is, one would think of nothing else. One would love that glory as the saints have loved it, passionately, regarding as lost every action that did not have it as its purpose.…

Heaven is the country of love, yet on earth one can burn with seraphic love. With Jesus and love, everywhere is heaven. There is one difference between the heaven of time and the heaven of eternity. No one will suffer in the latter. Here, suffering abounds. Does not this difference give a certain advantage to the earthly heaven? Is the value of suffering understood? Is its excellence esteemed? Is its beauty known? The only thing that the angels would envy us, if they were capable of envy, would be suffering. God fell in love with this precious pearl hidden among life’s miseries. He loved it, came and died from it. The angels cannot say to God: “I love you even to sacrifice, even to death.” Only human beings can taste the delicacy of that phrase.

—Excerpts from Secrets of the Interior Life, pp. 

Martinez, L. (2011). Secrets of the Spirit: Wisdom from Luis Martinez. (G. Santos, Ed.) (pp. 19–22). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

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