#99 – Conversion
…we must collect our powers, desires, and affections, which have been scattered and are lingering in the valley of the purely human; putting them all together, we must make them converge on God, our one last end. In this sense, our Lenten conversion should consist in a generous determination to put ourselves more resolutely in the way of perfection. It means a new determination to become a saint. The desire for sanctity is the mainspring of the spiritual life; the more intense and real this desire is in us, the more it will urge us to pledge ourselves totally. In this first week of Lent, we must try to arouse and strengthen our resolution to become a saint.
How do we grow in this sanctity? First of all, sanctity is the “plenitude of love and grace; it is transformation in God by love.”
So how much love and grace do we need to attain? Is there a certain, secret level that we need?
…the secret of reaching the goal is never to stop: first, because even if we were to grow in love indefinitely, we would never be able to love God as much as He is to be loved; secondly because we do not know to what degree of sanctity God is calling us. … God does not let Himself be outdone in generosity, and the more we give ourselves to Him in the exercise of intense love, the more He will give Himself to us by grace.
We are to love God without measure. No limits. None on our love, and none on our conversion. Because no matter how much we think we are giving or attaining of each we cannot outgive or outgain God. It makes sense to think that if we attain the ability to love or trust to the best of our ability that, even if it is far short of God’s capacity for the same, we will still be capable of showing an abundance of love, mercy and grace to our fellow man. We will reflect His light and help to spell the darkness.
As we progress during Lent we’ll work more on doing this, and thus we may fill our hearts with God’s love, trust, and mercy. In this way there will be no more room for the blackness.
From the colloquy:
Grant, O Lord Jesus, by the infinite merits of Your passion, that I may be converted to You with all my heart. Do not permit me to be discouraged by the continual return of my egotistical tendencies, or by the incessant struggle which I must maintain against them. Make me clearly understand that, if I wish to be completely converted to You, I can never make peace with my weaknesses, my faults, my self-love, my pride. Amen.
For Lent I’m taking a daily walk through Divine Intimacy by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen. It is a book of meditations steeped in Carmelite spirituality and has been a favorite of mine for over a decade.