On the Desire for Eternal Life and the Wonder of God's Promises
CHRIST. My son, when you realize the heavenly origin of your desire for eternal blessedness and long to escape from the prison of the body in order to be able to contemplate My unchanging glory, (2John 17:24) then open your heart and eagerly receive this holy inspiration. Offer fervent thanks for My divine generosity, that deals with you so kindly, visits you with mercy, inflames you to ardour and powerfully supports you lest your own nature cause you to relapse into worldliness. It is not by any resolution or effort of your own that you receive this gift, but solely by the favor and grace of Heaven and God's regard. It is granted that you may grow in virtue and in deeper humility and may prepare yourself for further conflicts, striving with whole hearted devotion to hold fast to Me and serve Me with sincere goodwill.
Son, there are may fires, but the flame never ascends unaccompanied by smoke. Similarly, the desires of some are afire for heavenly things, while they themselves are not yet free from the lusts of the flesh. Therefore they do not act solely for the glory of God when they make such earnest requests of Him and your own desires, which you think so sincere, are often like this. For no desires are pure and perfect that are tainted by self-interest.
Do not ask for what is pleasant and profitable to yourself, but what is acceptable to Me and tends to My glory ; for if you view things in their proper light, you will prefer and follow My direction rather than your own desires, whatever they may be. I know your desire, and have often heard your cry. You long for the glorious liberty of the sons of God,(Rom. 8:21) while your eternal home and the joys of the heavenly country already draw your heart. But the time for this has not yet come; there remains warfare, work, and trial. You desire to be filled with the supreme Good, but you cannot attain this blessing now. I am that Good; wait for Me, says the Lord, until the coming of the Kingdom of God.
You must still be proved in this life, and many trials await you. Consolation will sometimes be granted you, but not in its fullness. So be strong and courageous,(Joshua 1:7) both in doing and enduring what by nature is repugnant to you. It is necessary for you to become a new man, (Eph. 4:24) and to be changed into another person.(I Sam. 10:6) It is often your duty to act against your own inclination, and to set aside your own wishes. The affairs of others may prosper, while your own wishes are frustrated. The words of others will be listened to, while yours will be disregarded. Others will ask and receive their request, while you ask and receive nothing. Others will be highly commended, while you remain unrecognized. Others will be entrusted with this or that office, while you are not considered suitable for anything. Your nature will cry out at this treatment, but it will be a great achievement if you remain silent, for in these and similar ways the faithful servant of our Lord is tested, that he may learo deny and subdue himself in everything. There is hardly anything in which we have such need to die to self as in seeing and suffering things that are contrary to our wishes, especially when we are ordered to do what appears inconvenient and useless. And because, being under authority, you do not presume to resist the higher power, it seems a hardship to bow to the will of another, and to yield your own opinion.
Consider the results of your work, My son ; its approaching end, and its boundless reward. Then it will not make you unhappy, but powerfully strengthen your resolution. In return for the surrender of your own will, you shall always have your will in Heaven. There you will find all that you wish, all that you can desire; there you will enjoy all good things without fear of loss. There your own will shall always be in accord with Mine, and you will desire no personal good, but Myself. None will oppose you there, none complain of you, obstruct or thwart you. Everything that you desire will be at hand, and will stimulate your love and fill it to overflowing. There you will receive glory in return for insults suffered here ; a robe of honour( Isa. 61:3) instead of grief, and in return for your humble place on earth a throne in My heavenly Kingdom. There will the fruit of your obedience appear, your acts of penance be turned to joy, and your former humble subjection be crowned with glory.
For the present, then, bear yourself humbly towards all men, and do not mind who it is that speaks or commands ; but take care that whether it be your superior, your inferior or your equal who makes any request or suggestion, you take it all in good part, and sincerely try to fulfil their wish. Let men seek many different things, one making pleasure in this, another in that, and being highly commended for it. For your part, take pleasure in none of these things, but in the humble esteem of yourself and in My good pleasure and honor alone. Let this be your constant desire-that, whether in life or dearth, God may at all times be glorified in you. (Phil. 1:20)
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