January 2014 - If You Knew The Gift Of God
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
The Samaritan woman of the Gospel, who went to draw water from the well of Jacob was drowning in fleeting pleasures in an impossible search for happiness.
Nonetheless, she multiplied those pleasures, hoping that the dazzle of their novelty would replace the emptiness that she found in them. Every new pleasure deepened her wounds and she was unable to find anything to calm her thirst for happiness. She was sinking in a downward spiral leading to despair. The happiness to which we are called cannot be found in the unrestrained use of creatures.
As we are freely created by God, because He loves us, our life must become a song to the Uncreated Love. Let us join our voices to the chorus of those who want to love God by acting only by His love.
Admittedly, this love is incarnated in our daily duty of state and allows us to know the sweet joy of deeply loving those who are dear to us, to love our country and the beauties that God has abundantly spread in nature. We are not angels and the beauty of a sunrise or a flower or a work of art raises our souls and leads us towards unsuspected summits and gives us healthy and necessary joys.
Nonetheless, these joys are only samples of a higher joy because a creature, however noble and beautiful, will never be more than a pale, dim image of its Creator.
Man cannot taste these joys and flourish, unless he sees in them – keeping the order established by God, who is source and end of any joy – only a ladder that enables him to ascend in the Divine Love.
Our sensible nature (sensible precisely because it is given to us to vibrate with the human and divine joys that beat in unison) has difficulty in apprehending this very simple law of the divine hierarchy of happiness. Our nature does not understand it and, since original sin, tries to find for and by itself a happiness in which it can rest forever.
The total happiness of the senses is, by nature, folly and yet… too often it is our leading purpose. Even without losing divine grace, man inclines to satisfy his animal nature before seeking the happiness of the soul, forgetting too often to seek, first and above all, the happiness of God.
Even though God wants the happiness of His creatures, man too often forgets to answer this loving will by loving in return.
The Christian lives in the state of grace, but without living by God’s grace; he lives in God’s love without seeking to live by God’s love. He remains at the periphery of the divine love and does not enter into its intimacy, in spite of the pressing invitation addressed to him.
He wants to remain in the love of God but also to be free to escape towards creatures. He tries – without succeeding in anything but deceiving himself – to love with equivalent loves both the Creator and the creatures.
From this attitude results, in practice, the extreme difficulty that man has in offering with joy the small sacrifices that he finds in his path.
He is ready and wants to make such sacrifices, for doesn’t he live in a state of grace? But concretely, he rejects or postpones them with multiple good, careful and credible pretexts. Where to find the reason for all these excuses?
The reason is simple: he does not live out of love, but by calculations. He loves God, but with reservations.
Saint Augustine judges this attitude in a concise formula that has become famous: “He who loves does not keep counting.”
In this difficulty in loving God as He wants to be loved, we find the major reason for our present evils.
To love is simply to know what is true, to live it and to radiate it without any regard for our comforts, so that others may know the happiness of living in the intimacy of God, seeking Him in all and in everything. To love is to be willing to give God to those who are dear to us, so that they live that love.
If we could know the gift of God, if we knew how much He loves us and how much He works in our lives, at every moment, inviting us to love Him above all, then our souls would be eager to live on love alone.
Our hearts would be thirsty and would not hesitate to go to the well of the eternal Love. It would then be God Himself who would give Himself to us and would satisfy our thirst while pouring in our hearts sources of living waters, which will become pledges of an eternity of happiness
Let us approach and draw those waters.
In Christo sacerdote et Maria.
Fr. Yves le Roux
P.S. – We appeal to you, our dear friends and benefactors, to help us to maintain our Winona building, which is now about sixty years old. We must face many expenses caused by the need to replace or bring up to current code original fixtures. It would be highly imprudent not to take care of these deficiencies.
To show you the extent of the difficulties that we must confront these coming months, let me present here the list of the work that we must undertake very soon: a new kitchen ventilation system and water pressure system, a 140000KW standby generator, and electronic boiler and heat exchanger system controls, and the replacement of about 100 windows… According to a professional estimate, the cost for this work approaches US$ 300,000.
As this amount is not small, after turning to Saint Joseph and entrusting our concern to him, we now turn to you, so that you may become his ambassadors.
We express to you, in advance, our deepest gratitude.