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In this twilight of our Christian era, the darkness gathers. Eventually it will bring a purifying chastisement and a rebirth of the Faith. I am struck by the coincidence of the closing of my own life with this transition of our Christian era. This is a repost an old entry, I hope you don’t mind.
Twilight was always the favorite time of day for my Father-in-law and thus, it became mine. Evensong is a hymn/prayer that stays with me in the evening of my life.
Sweet Savior, bless us ‘ere we go
Thy word into our hearts instill.
And make our lukewarm hearts to glow
With lowly love and fervent will.
Through life’s long day
And death’s dark night
O gentle Jesus, be our light.
My daily readings are from Divine Intimacy, by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. In his reading titled, ”Let Us Make Good Use of Time.” Father Gabriel reminds us that time ill spent is lost forever and that what degree of love we have achieved at the time of our death is what we shall have throughout eternity.
He then quotes Sister Carmela of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D. , who was under his spiritual direction, “We must give every moment its full amount of love, and make each passing moment eternal, by giving it value for eternity.” We do that by love, by doing every smallest task entrusted to us, with all the love of which we are capable.
From Father Gabriel:
“The growth of charity depends upon meritorious acts, that is good works done under the influence of charity. Every good act merits an increase in charity…it is necessary that these works be done with all the love possible, that is, with all the good will and generosity of which the soul is capable. We have only the short day of this earthly life in which to grow in love, and if we wish to derive from it the greatest possible profit, we must overcome our natural inertia and carry out our good works, ‘with our whole heart’. Then our love will grow immeasurably and we shall be able to say to Our Lord like St. Therese of the Child Jesus; ‘Your love has grown with me and now it is an abyss..’ We must then, make haste while we still have time, for ‘the night cometh when no man can work’. ” (John 9,4)
Father Gabriel then quotes St. Teresa of Avila,
“How little I have loved You, my God! How badly I have spent my time! How late have my desires become enkindled…Now it will become clear, Lord, if my soul, looking upon the time it has lost, is right in its belief that You, in a moment, can turn its loss to gain. … Restore the time I have lost, my God, by granting me Your grace both in the present and in the future, that I may appear before You wearing the wedding garment, for You can do this, if You will.”
Father Gabriel then ends the meditation,
“I am so weak, so careless, so indolent! I am inclined to flee from exerting myself; I try to avoid making sacrifices. My nature always seeks what is easiest, what is least tiring, and soon falls into negligence and laziness. Help me, O Lord, and strengthen my love by Your almighty power. What I do for You is so little; grant, O my God, that I may at least do it with all the love possible.”
It is immensely encouraging that St. Teresa, who is one of our greatest Saints, struggled with the very same problems we ourselves deal with daily. I guess the main point is, she never gave up.
If Our Lord was pleased to bless St. Teresa so generously with His love and grace, surely He will spare a bit for us as we stumble along. Let us make haste then, to love and serve the Lord and those He has entrusted to us, for truly, “the night comes when no man can work.”
Sweet Heart of Mary, be our salvation, bring us to Jesus, thy Son!
~ posted by evensong for love of the Immaculata
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin, give me strength against thine enemies!