A Year with the Saints – 25 December

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If you desire to arrive at union with God, let your conversation and manner of life be as interior as possible. Do not reveal yourself, or come forth from yourself, either by words, gestures or manners, but strive to keep yourself within yourself, turning to God alone, who is present within you, and excluding from your heart all that you shall see or hear. – Blessed Henry Suso

Father Alvarez, being asked the reason why he had seemed unusually thoughtful for some days, answered: “I am trying to live as if I were in the deserts of Africa, and to keep my heart as much at a distance from all creatures as if I were really in a desert.” And in this he succeeded.

Saint Rose of Lima made unusual efforts to conceal not only the good works and penances that she performed, but even the spiritual gifts which she received from the Lord – never revealing them without necessity, even to her directors. A person of high rank once had a great desire to know the special favors this Saint enjoyed, and pressed her spiritual Father to elicit an account of them from her. Though he foresaw that it would be very difficult, yet he was so desirous to grant the favor that he tried to accomplish it under various pretexts, and with much persuasion. The pious maiden soon perceived the object of these artifices, and in the humblest words entreated him not to question her about the matter. She said that from her earliest years she had most frequently supplicated her Spouse that no one might ever discover what He had wrought in her out of His pure goodness; and as the good God had granted this, His minister should not take away a favor which He had bestowed.

Saint Thomas Aquinas, from his earliest youth, was constantly seeking to know God. When he had become a Religious, his sole gratification was to think, to speak and to hear of God; so that if anything was introduced in general conversation which was not connected with God, he paid no attention to it, as a matter which did not concern him. He so directed to God and His good pleasure all his works and actions, that when the Lord Himself asked him what reward he would desire for the many works he had written for Him, “No other,” he replied, “but Thyself alone, my Lord and my Love!”

MLA Citation