“Souls that are truly poor and desirous of serving God should place their trust in the coming of the Holy Spirit within them believing that, finding no resistance in them, He will give them the disposition necessary to accomplish the holy will of God which should be their only preoccupation. In order to be in a state of receptivity, the soul must imitate the obedience of the Apostles by freely confessing its powerlessness and by detaching itself completely from all creatures and even from God Himself, insofar as the senses are concerned, because the Son of God, who prepared His Apostles to receive the Holy Spirit, did so by depriving them of His divine presence at His Ascension. The Holy Spirit, upon entering souls that are so disposed, will certainly remove any obstacle to His divine operations by the ardor of His love. He will establish the laws of holy charity by endowing them with the strength to accomplish tasks beyond their human powers so long as they remain in a state of total detachment.” (A 25)
- Louise de Marillac had begun her spiritual life as was taught by the representatives of the so-called Abstract or Nordic School, considered by Saint Vincent de Paul as a stark spirituality for the Daughters of Charity to live and to serve the poor. Guided by St. Vincent, St. Louise, in her mature years, went on to the simpler spirituality of St. Vincent. But in the last seven years of her life she revives a spirituality of her own, centered in the Holy Spirit. This meditation belongs to that last time of his life. Sister Geoffre, the Daughter of Charity who compiled, transcribed, and ordered her writings, entitled it “Purity of Love Necessary to Receive the Holy Spirit.” For this reason, we should let the same Louise de Marillac make this week’s reflection with the following points:
- “The love which we are obliged to bring to God must be so pure that, when we receive His most particular graces, we must hope for nothing other than the glory of His Son. Our Lord taught us this in the person of His Apostles to whom He had promised to send His Holy Spirit when He assured them that He would thereby be glorified.”
- “The soul that truly loves God must seek nothing more. The greatest happiness that it can experience is to cooperate in rendering glory to Him whose ignominious death astounded all humankind. Even if, as God, He did not merit the purity of love which would make Him the unique object of all our affections, we would be obliged to render to His holy humanity a debt of gratitude for the greatness of His love.”
- “Blessed, therefore, are they who help others to fulfill their obligations to Him. Blessed are they whose powerlessness prevents them from acting in any other way and who employ the full power of their love so as to make the love of their Master the sole proprietor of their hearts.”
Questions for dialogue:
- Is the love you have for God so pure that in everything you do you only seek the glory of His Son? What are your ideals at every moment of the day?
- Do you bear in mind that, guided at all times by the Holy Spirit, you must be a witness to others?
- Do you recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit within you? Do you know how to distinguish His inspirations from other thoughts and desires?
- Why do we not know how to distinguish the divine inspirations from the temptations “of the devil, the world and the flesh”?
Benito Martínez, C.M.
Tags: Benito Martinez, Louise de Marillac