JESUS has always many who love His heavenly kingdom, but few who bear His cross. He has many who desire consolation, but few who care for trial. He finds many to share His table, but few to take part in His fasting. All desire to be happy with Him; few wish to suffer anything for Him. Many follow Him to the breaking of bread, but few to the drinking of the chalice of His passion. Many revere His miracles; few approach the shame of the Cross. Many love Him as long as they encounter no hardship; many praise and bless Him as long as they receive some comfort from Him. But if Jesus hides Himself and leaves them for a while, they fall either into complaints or into deep dejection.
Habet autem Jesus multos amatores sui regnis cŠlestis, sed paucos
bajulatores suŠ crucis. Plures invenit socios mensŠ sed paucos
abstinentiŠ. Omnes volunt cum Christo gaudere, sed pauci volunt aliquid
pro ipso sustinere. Multi sequuntur Jesum usque as fractionem panis, sed
pauci ad bibendum calicem passionis. Multi miracula ejus venerantur, sed
pauci ignominias crucis sequuntur. Multi Jesum diligunt, quamdiu adversa
non contingunt. Multi illum laudant et benedicunt, quamdiu consolationes
aliquas ab ipso recipiunt. Si autem Jesus se abscondiderit, et modicum eos
reliquerit, aut in querimoniam aut in dejectionem nimiam cadunt.
|Those, on the contrary, who love Him for His own sake and not for any comfort of their own, bless Him in all trial and anguish of heart as well as in the bliss of consolation. Even if He should never give them consolation, yet they would continue to praise Him and wish always to give Him thanks.||
Qui autem Jesum propter Jesum, et non propter aliquam suam consolationem
propriam diligunt, ipsum in tribulatione, et in angustia cordis, sicut in
summa consolatione diligunt, et benedicunt. Et
si eis consolationem nunquam dare vellet, ipsum tamen laudarent, et semper
gratias agere vellent.
|What power there is in pure love for Jesus -- love that is flee from all self-interest and self-love! Do not those who always seek consolation deserve to be called mercenaries? Do not those who always think of their own profit and gain prove that they love themselves rather than Christ? Where can a man be found who desires to serve God for nothing?||
3. O, quantum potest amor Jesu purus,
nullo propio commodo vel amore permixtus. Nonne omnes mercenarii sunt
dicendi, qui consolationes semper quŠrunt? Nonne amatores sui magis quam
Jesu probantur qui sua commoda vel lucra semper meditantur? Ubi
invenitur talis, qui velit servire Deo gratis?
|Rarely indeed is a man so spiritual as to strip himself of all things. And who shall find a man so truly poor in spirit as to be free from every creature? His value is like that of things brought from the most distant lands. If a man give all his wealth, it is nothing; if he do great penance, it is little; if he gain all knowledge, he is still far afield; if he have great virtue and much ardent devotion, he still lacks a great deal, and especially, the one thing that is most necessary to him. What is this one thing? That leaving all, he forsake himself, completely renounce himself, and give up all private affections. Then, when he has done all that he knows ought to be done, let him consider it as nothing, let him make little of what may be considered great; let him in all honesty call himself an unprofitable servant.||
Raro invenitur tam spiritualis aliquis qui omnibus sit nudatus. Nam
verum spiritu pauperem ab omni creatura nudum quis inveniet? Procul et
de omnibus finibus pretium ejus. Si dederit homo omnem substantiam
suam, adhuc nihil est. Et si fecerit pťnitentiam magnam, adhuc exiguum
est. Et si apprehenderit omnem scientiam, adhuc longe est. Et si habuerit
virtutem magnam, et devotionem nimis ardentem, adhuc sibi multum deest. Unum
scilicet, quod sibi summe necessarium est. Quid illud? Ut omnibus relictis
se relinquat, et a se totaliter exeat, nihilque de privato amore retineat.
Cum omnia fecerit quŠ facienda noverit, nihil se fecisse sentiat.
truth itself has said: "When you shall have done all these things
that are commanded you, say: 'we are unprofitable servants.'" Then he
will be truly poor and stripped in spirit, and with the prophet may say:
"I am alone and poor." No one, however, is more wealthy than
such a man; no one is more powerful, no one freer than he who knows how to
leave all things and think of himself as the least of all.
5. Non grande ponderet quod grandis
extimari possit, sed in veritate fervum inutilem se pronunciet. Sicut
veritas ait: Cum feceritis omnia quŠ nobis prŠcepta sunt, adhuc
dicite, quia servi inutiles sumus. Tunc
vero pauper, et nudus spiritu esse poterit, et cum Propheta dicere: Quia
unicus et pauper sum ego. Nemo isto ditior, nemo tam liberior, nemo
potentior eo, qui scit se et omnia relinquere et ad infimum se ponere.