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​“When the soul does an act in the Divine Will, God becomes her Model, while the act becomes the material necessary to receive the Divine Model”

The first letter of St. John: loving our brothers and believing in Christ (part two) ​

10/11/2021
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This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (1John 3,16-18)

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us": The love of which John speaks is not simply the love we experience in our family and social lives. Human love is only a foretaste and a figure of that infinite, divine and unreachable love of which the Evangelist speaks to us. Those who do not know divine love (which was revealed in Christ) do not know what true love is. The gift of one's soul, which Jesus made (and continues to make), has revealed to men what love is. And it is in Christ that the Father has shown His love for us.

"And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters " - wonderful practical conclusion! Love is contagious! It spurs and shakes. If we want to love we must (here is the commandment) give our lives for our brothers and sisters following the example and with the strength of Christ (we too). If it is true that we already love our brothers and sisters, it is also true that we must continually exhort one another to perfect this love. True love is only that which Christ demonstrated by giving his psychophysical life for us, and we have true love if we prolong that same love in our actions. " The perfection of charity lies here, in being ready to die for one's brother. The Lord has given us the example..." (Augustine, Meditations). However how can we begin to offer concretely our lives? The Apostle John immediately gives a practical example that is within everyone's reach.

" If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need ": here, then, is one of the simplest and most immediate ways to give life! Sharing one's riches with those who have none. This is the primary meaning of Christ's invitation to live evangelical poverty. We do not give away our riches for the sake of poverty, but out of love for our brothers and sisters in need. Augustine asks, " Brothers, where does charity begin,?" and then he continues, "You have heard in what its perfection consists.... Let us hear from where it draws its beginning.... If you are not yet ready to die for your brother, be willing to give your brother a little of your possessions.... If you cannot give the superfluous to your brother, how can you give your life for him?" (Augustine, Meditations).

One can see and at the same time pretend not to see. Think of the reaction of the priest and the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:31). Not only must we have the courage to look into the face of those in need, but we must also go in search of those in need who, out of modesty, try to hide it. We must also know that there are many needs: there is a need for bread, medicine, money, work, respect, friendship, freedom, family, advice, joy...

« But [he] has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person »: The most common reaction is to defend oneself by hardening one's heart. The Samaritan behaved quite differently: "But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’" (Lk 10:33-35). He who has a mother's heart knows how to pity (suffer with), weep with those who weep, rejoice with those who rejoice, and pay in person.

God's love (i.e., the love God has in Himself and gives to us, the love we are to feel for Him) is made present (and permanent), it is made visible in the capacity for compassion and sharing with our neighbor. I must have the courage to share my comforts and hardships with him. Otherwise, I do like Peter, who said he was willing to lay down his life for Jesus, but out of fear denied him three times (Jn 13:37). It was only by perfect love (even unto death) that he repaired that betrayal (Jn 21:15, 19).

On August 29, 1937, Jesus told Luisa that the souls that live in the Divine Will are placed in a labyrinth of love. For every act they do—every word, thought, heartbeat, breath—that God doesn’t see flowing in His Will, the Life of His Will and His own Love remain repressed.

God’s Will feels such Pain that It bursts into tears.  It moans and sighs because It does not find Its Life, Its Act, Its Heartbeat, Its Word and the Sanctity of God’s Intelligence in the creature.  Feeling left out, as if cast aside from the interior of the creature and from anything she does, It feels Its Love being extinguished and Its arms being tied, unable to perform Its Work within her.  What Pain!  Being able to give Life and not giving It; being able to speak in the human word, and being reduced to silence because the creature gives it no place within her word; being able to Love with God’s Love in her heart, and not finding the place in which to put it.  God’s Love remains hampered—with almost no Life—because the creature does not Live in the Divine Will.

When the soul does an act in the Divine Will, God becomes her Model, while the act becomes the material necessary to receive the Divine Model.  Therefore, God’s more than Paternal Goodness is all attentive to see all that the soul Living in the Divine Will does.  As she is about to think, speak or work It Seals in her the Model of Its Wisdom, the Model of its Creative Word and the Sanctity of Its Works.  God’s Love is such that He wants to become Life of her life, Heartbeat of her heart, and Love of her love.  God’s delirium of Love is such that He wants to make of her His Copy.  God can obtain this purpose only with one who Lives in His Will, since there is not lacking the adaptable material to receive His Model.

don Marco
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