Thursday, July 19, 2007

St. Teresa Margaret of the Most Sacred Heart, OCD

Excerpts from The Florilegio (sayings) of St. Teresa Margaret

On the Love of God

I am doing nothing to correspond to love.... I feel within me a continual reproach of the Sovereign Good, and on the other hand everything seems to hinder me from simply rushing forward to God. . . . I find no other remedy but to live by faith. I cannot imagine what painful fare living without love would be for one who burns with desire for this love. (Letter to Father Ildefonse, Dec. 19, 1768)

If I should see hell open for me, I should continue to love the Lord all the same. (Canonical Process: Words of the Saint)

It is enough to keep closed the outside doors, which are the senses; then it seems to me that the soul cannot go elsewhere than to its center which is God. (Canonical Process: Words of the Saint)

I propose, O my God, to have no other aim than love in all my actions, interior as well as exterior, remembering that I ought to render love for love. (Resolutions, 1768)

My only love, I abandon myself entirely to You, so that You alone may act in me according to your designs. (Ibid.)

Dispose of me as is most pleasing to You, provided that I follow You by the way of Calvary: the thornier I find it and the heavier Your Cross, the happier I will be. (Resolutions, 1768)

I believe that I cannot do less than marvel at the loving conduct of our good God in leading me to this holy place [Carmel] .... I thank Him for having rendered me victorious, and for having freed my heart from so many attachments, which would have separated it from the sole object in which it should rest. (To Mother Maria Anna of the Albizi in St. Apollonia’s, January 5, 1769)

We should not be disturbed, whatever the circumstances in which God places us, but let us allow Him to act, uniting ourselves to His intentions; in this way we will love with pureness of love. (Maxims of the Saint)

As he who loves a creature often thinks of her, so the one who loves God is always mindful of Him. (Maxims of the Saint)

All things count for nothing when it is a matter of acquiring true love of God. (Ibid.)

Let us do all for love, and nothing will appear difficult when we reflect that love desires nothing but love. (Ibid.)

To acquire this Love, which is God Himself, no labor should seem too arduous, nor ought one to draw back because of the difficulty one may encounter. (To Mother Anna Maria of St. Anthony of Padua)

The mirror in which we ought to look at ourselves that we may reach divine union is Jesus Christ, because no one can attain it except by means of and through the merits of Jesus Crucified. (To the same)

Consider the grace of God: in these plants He speaks to us without words, and reminds us to love Him. (To the sister near her in the garden)

When a sick Sister, with whom she was staying, urged her to go down to the Choir in time to prepare herself for Holy Communion, she replied: “It might be hard for me to remain here, but on the other hand I believe that since obedience wills me to assist here rather than in Choir, the faithful accomplishment of my duty will be the best preparation for Communion, for God is not restricted either to time or place.” (To Mother Teresa Maria of the Most Holy Conception)

If the actions of our neighbors have a hundred aspects, we ought always to consider them from the best point of view. (To the same)

When an action is blamable, let us excuse the intention. (To the same)

When as infirmarian she had to deny any sick Sister something that could harm her even slightly, she was wont to say: “Now is the time of offer Jesus this sacrifice which He is expecting from you.” (Souvenirs)

Try to be all for God’s with love, our Superiors’ with submission, our neighbor’s with charity. (To one of the Sisters)

Never complain of anyone, but turn the complaints against yourself; because if you do not succeed in doing what you long to do, how can you complain if others fail? (From the writings of the Saint)

I believe that love would render bearable, and even sweet, the torments of hell; because love alone makes one surmount everything, as was demonstrated by the holy martyrs. (To Father Ildefonse)

Love suffers neither delay nor repose, being al­ways eager to suffer for the Beloved. (Maxims of the Saint)

Our good God ardently desires to give us the great treasure of His love; but He wants us to ask Him for it insistently, and to act in such a manner that each work we perform will be a request for this love. (Thoughts)

II On Love of Neighbor

When one of the Sisters had received a public correction, the Saint went to her most tenderly, and to comfort her said: “Now is the time to accumulate merits for a blessed eternity, making of the unpleasant experience a little bouquet to offer Jesus, not thinking of yourself anymore, excusing and forgiving everyone.” (Souvenirs)

Let us remember that our Holy Mother founded our monasteries principally so that we might help by our prayer those who are laboring to lead souls to God. If we grow negligent in this, we shall completely fall away from her spirit, and the Holy Mother will not consider us as her daughters. (Words which the Saint frequently said to Mother Teresa Maria of the Most Holy Conception)

III On Faith and Hope

What a beautiful thing to pray to Him who wants so much to give to us! . . . With our good Father it is enough to open one’s mouth and simply show Him our desire in order to be heard. ... How can one do less to be heard? (Maxims)

It is extraordinary that our good Jesus, even when we are asleep, when we are amusing ourselves and are not thinking at all of Him or of ourselves, still continues to pray to His eternal Father for us! (Ibid.)

Let us remain quite calm so that however things turn out they will always be to our advantage since God always arranges what is best for us. (To one of the Sisters)

Let us place all our trust in God, and let us remember that it is of faith that God gives us strength in proportion to the work. (To one of the Sisters)

Don’t you see how God helps us, and at the end of the day everything is accomplished? (To one of the Sisters)

I wish to live by faith in You, O Lord .... and I hope in the end to be saved! (Canonical Process: Words of the Saint)

You unbeliever, O you who do not dare draw near to Him, make the test and prove how good and generous is our most loving God! (Canonical Process: Words of the Saint)

IV On Humility

The poorer and more miserable 1 am, so much the more am I rich and strong in God. (Canonical Process: Words of the Saint)

God will be more glorious in His mercy, the more vile and contemptible I am in my nothingness, in my sins, and in my weaknesses. (Ibid.)

In what can we not humble ourselves after a God has so humbled Himself for us? (Ibid.)

Especially at the end of her life she was accustomed to say: “If they knew what I am, they would not live with me, because I am so wicked.” (Ibid.)

When something goes well, let us not believe that it is because of our prayers; but when some misfortune occurs, let us think that it is because of our sins. (Thoughts)

The spirit of Jesus is a spirit of subjection, simplicity, humility, and of meekness. (Thoughts)

Let us seek that love which created and redeemed us, and commands us to love Him. If we long to find Him, the way is this: humility of heart and simplicity of spirit. (To the Sisters)

Since love makes lovers conform, therefore we ought to become humble like Jesus, meek like Jesus; and His humility will teach us to rejoice when we are despised and to be silent when nature leads us to excuse ourselves. (To the Sisters)

It is a great thing that our good Jesus, even though He is glorious at the right hand of His Father, takes on Himself our most vile miseries and deigns to intercede continually for us. (Canonical Process: Words of the Saint)

V On Obedience

She herself declared she wished to live by pure obedience, and therefore in all that she did she endeavored to be able to say to herself: “I am doing this through obedience and with obedience.” (Canonical Process: Deposition of Father Ildefonse)

If they work here [in the monastery] only through obedience, it does not seem to me that God can allow His work to be impeded [namely that exterior occupations would be an obstacle to union with Him]. (To Father Ildefonse)