Day Three – For the Grace that makes our sins into a source of humility
Today we ask Saint Elizabeth to intercede for us against the temptation to be discouraged by our sins. It is possible to take sin too lightly, to not realize the great price that was paid so that we might live as sons and daughters of God. It is also possible to allow our awareness of sin to discourage us, even to the point of abandoning prayer. Saint Elizabeth is adamant that we should never abandon prayer, that even our awareness of sin can help us go deeper into the silence in which the Lord wants to heal and transform us. This is because she keeps her eyes fixed on “God, who is rich in mercy.”
Those who keep the mercy of God before them never grow tired of confessing their sins and deepening their life of conversion. Mercy is love that suffers the misery of another, and Christ has justified us by suffering the misery of our sin for our sake. He has rescued our dignity and given us standing before the Father by accepting the consequences of our sin out of love for us and dying for us. This is the reason that Saint Elizabeth refers to Christ “crucified by love.” As long as we keep our eyes fixed on this love, rather than discourage us, our sins can become occasions for gratitude to the Lord and confidence in the immensity of His devotion to us.
Saint Elizabeth says that the Lord has found a way to convert our sins into instruments of salvation. This does not diminish the horror that we should have for sin. It opens up, instead, a source of humility. We are a little more free from self-love when we accept how broken we are and how much we need God’s love. Less self-satisfied, we discover in our hearts a new openness to die to ourselves and to live the life that the Lord would have for us instead. Whenever we humbly repent of what we have done and turn with confidence to the Lord, He is ready to give us peace and help us to begin again.
In her mission, Saint Elizabeth wants us to plunge into humility before the mercy of God. She does not want us to be discouraged by sin, but with a simple movement of love and confidence to confess it, to feel sorrow over it, and to humbly work to repair the damage that we have done. Instead of being pre-occupied with personal failure or even the hurt we have caused, we must see how God is turning even our weakness into a new kind of wisdom. We must allow God to love us in this way. Saint Elizabeth explains, “Love rebuilds what you have destroyed.”
O My God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to forget myself entirely so as to be established in you as still and as peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to disturb my peace, nor make me depart from you, o my Unchanging One, but may each moment carry me further into the depths of your Mystery. Pacify my soul, make it your heaven, your beloved abode, your resting place. May I never leave you there alone, but may I be entirely present, my faith completely ready, wholly adoring, fully surrendered to your creative action.
O my beloved Christ, crucified by love, I would like to be a bride for your heart. I would like to cover you with glory, I would like to love you… unto death. I feel my powerlessness, however, and I ask you to clothe me with yourself, to identify my soul with all the movements of your soul, to defeat me, to overwhelm me, to substitute yourself for me, that my life might be but the radiation of your Life. Come into me as Adorer, as Healer, as Savior. O Eternal Word, Word of my God, I want to spend my life listening to you, I want to be completely docile, ready to learn everything from you. Then, through all nights, all voids, all weakness, I want to fixate on you always and to remain under your great light. O My beloved Star, fascinate me so that I would not be able to forsake your shining light.
O Consuming Flame, Spirit of love, come over me until my soul is render into an incarnation of the Word; may I be for Him another humanity in which he renews His whole Mystery.
And you, O Father, bend over your little creature, cover her with your shadow, and see in her only the Beloved in whom You are well-pleased.
O my Three, my All, my Beatitude, Infinite Solitude, Immensity in which I loose myself, I surrender myself as prey. Bury yourself in me in order that I might bury myself in you, while waiting to contemplate in your light the immeasurable depths of your grandeur.