“Unfaithful creatures! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is in vain that the Scripture says, ‘He yearns jealously over the spirit which He has made to dwell in us’? But He gives more grace; therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to dejection. Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you.” (James 4:4-10)
Even Almighty God cannot fill what is already full. We must be empty if we want God to fill us with His fullness. Our Lady had to be empty before she could be full of grace. She had to declare that she was the handmaid of the Lord (Luke 1:38) before God could fill her. So also we must be empty of all pride, all jealousy, of all selfishness before God can fill us with His love.
We must be able to give ourselves so completely to God that He must be able to possess us. We must “Give whatever He takes and take whatever He gives.”
How unlike Him we are. How little love, how little compassion, how little forgiveness, how little kindness we have. We are not worthy to be so close to Him—to enter His Heart. For His Heart is still open to embrace us. His head is still crowned with thorns, His hands nailed to the Cross today. Let us find out: “Are the nails mine? That spit on His face, is it mine? What part of His body, of His mind, has suffered because of me?” We should ask, not with anxiety or fear, but with a meek and humble heart. Let us find out what part of His body has wounds inflicted by our sin. Let us not go alone but put our hands in His. He is there to forgive seventy times seven (Matthew 18:22).
Our Father loves us. He has called us in a special way, given us a name. We belong to Him with all our misery, our sin, our weakness, our goodness. We are His.
Let us not be like the rich young man in the Gospel. Jesus saw him and loved him and wanted him, but he had given his heart to something else—to his riches (Matthew 19:22). He was rich, young, and strong. Jesus could not fill him.
Instead, be like Zacchaeus. He was a little man—a small man—and he knew his smallness (Luke 19:3). He recognized his smallness and made a very simple decision in order to see Jesus. He climbed a tree because he knew he was small. If he hadn’t opened his heart and responded to Jesus in that simple way, Jesus could not have shown His love, He could not have said, “Come down, Zacchaeus! Come down!” This is the foundation of everything: “Learn of Me, that I am meek and humble of heart” (Matthew 11:29). Be small.
“We shall always be God’s debtors, and that is why hope is so important an element in the development of our spirituality. All that remains is the prayer: ‘Lord, let Your love grow in me. Provide me with what is lacking in my love for You. Fill my empty hands, give me Your own heart.’ ” –Father Conrad de Meester
From the writings of Sister Mary of St. Peter, on June 13, 1847:
Yes, the Holy Child is my model, my strength, my consolation; in short, He is the complete joy of my heart. He is my model of patience and resignation, Who teaches me by His example, as He rests silently in the crib, content to wait thirty-three years before consuming His sacrifice, to the glory of His Father, for the salvation of the world. Thus He teaches me that in the Work of Reparation, I must also be resigned to wait in patience for its triumph until the moment decreed by God at last arrives. Therefore I am content to wait together with Him, and I suffer together with Him.
But what was the chief occupation of Jesus during His Childhood, I ask myself. The answer is that He was ever intent on glorifying God’s Holy Name. “Did you not know,” He said to His Mother, when she found Him in the temple, “that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49)
Therefore, I repeatedly ask this Divine Child to teach me how I must glorify the Name of His Father. I beg Him to recite together with me that prayer which He Himself offered to His Father while He lived on earth: “My Father, glorify Your Name” (John 12:28), and then I add, “in the Work of Reparation.”
It’s Your love, Jesus, that I crave.
It’s Your love that has to transform me.
Put in my heart Your consuming flame,
And I’ll be able to bless You and love You.
Yes, I’ll be able to love You and bless You
As they do in Heaven.
I’ll love You with that very love
With which You have loved me, Jesus Eternal Word
“Likewise you that are younger be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you. Cast all your anxieties on Him, for He cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:5-7)