20 March 2011

2nd Sunday in Lent

Here are some brief quotes on today's liturgical readings (in the traditional Latin Rite Mass) from Fr. Gabriele of St. Mary Magdalene:

"In ecstasy before the vision on Thabor, Peter cried out with his usual eagerness, "it is good for us to be here," and offered to make three tabernacles:  one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elias.  But his proposal was interrupted by a voice from heaven:  "this is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him!"  and the vision disappeared.

Spiritual consolations are never and end in themselves, and we should neither desire them nor try to retain them for our own satisfaction.  Joy, even that which is spiritual, should never be sought for itself.  Just as in heaven, joy will be the necessary concomitant of possessing God, so too on earth, it should be nothing but a means, enabling us to give ourselves with greater generosity to the service of God.  To Peter, who wanted to stay on Thabor in the sweet vision of the transfigured Jesus, God Himself replied by inviting him to listen to and follow the teachings of His beloved Son.  The ardent Apostle would soon learn that following Jesus meant carrying the Cross and ascending Calvary with Him.

God does not console us for our entertainment but rather of our encouragement, for our strengthening, for the increase of our generosity in suffering for love of Him.

The vision disappeared; the Apostles raised their eyes and saw nothing "nisi solum Jesum" save Jesus alone, and with "Jesus alone," they came down from the mountain."

"It is precisely at such times (when God removes temporal consolations, helps, friendships --even spiritual one ---, understanding, esteem, encouragement --- even from Superiors) that we can prove to God more than ever-- by deeds and not by words only---that He is our all and that He alone suffices.  On these occasions the loving soul finds itself in a position to give God one of the finest proofs of its love: to be faithful to Him, to trust in Him, and to persevere in its resolution to give all, even if, by removing His gifts, He has left it alone.  The soul may be in darkness, that is, subject to misunderstanding, bitterness, material and spiritual solitude combined with interior desolation.  The time has come to repeat, "Jesus alone," to come down from Thabor with Him, and to follow with Him the Apostles even to Calvary, where He will suffer, abandoned not only by men, but even by His Father."

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