-Virgin of Carmel Saving Souls from Purgatory, artist unknown, Circle of Diego Quispe Tito, Peruvian (Cuzco), 1611-1681, Potosi, Bolivia, 41 x 29 in. (104.1 x 73.7 cm), late 17th century, oil on canvas, Brooklyn Museum, please click on the image for greater detail.
-by Rev Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen, OCD, Divine Intimacy, Baronius Press, (c) 1964
Presence of God – Purify my soul, O Lord, so that it may be filled completely with Your light and Your love.
St. John of the Cross compares the soul to a glass window with a ray of sunlight shining on it. If the glass is dirty, “the ray cannot illuminate it, nor transform it completely into its light; its illumination will be in proportion to its clearness. If, on the other hand, it is absolutely clean and spotless, it will be illuminated and transformed in such a way as to appear to be the luminous ray itself, and to give the same light” (Ascent of Mount Carmel II, 5,6). God is the divine Sun shining upon our souls, desiring to invade them and penetrate them, completely transforming them into His light and love. Before He does this, however, He waits until the soul resolves to free itself from every “creature stain,” that is, the stains of sin and inordinate attachments. As soon as God finds that a soul is free from mortal sin, He immediately fills it with His grace. This precious gift is the first step in the great transformation which the Lord desires to bring about in us. The more we become purified of all sin and imperfection, and of even the slightest attachment; that is, in proportion as we conform our will to the will of God, not only in serious matters of obligation but even in the least details of perfection, the more capable we become of being entirely penetrated and transformed by divine Grace.
Grace, the gift of God which makes the soul a participant in the divine nature, is poured forth into the soul in proportion to its degree of interior purity, which always corresponds to its degree of conformity with God’s will. Therefore, the soul that wishes to be totally possessed and transformed by divine Grace, must in practice strive to conform fully to the will of God, according to the teaching of St. John of the Cross, “so that there may be nothing in the soul that is contrary to the will of God, but that in all and through all its movement may be that of the will of God alone” (Ascent of Mount Carmel I, 11,2).
“O my Jesus, how great is the love that Thou hast for the children of men! The greatest service that we can render Thee is to leave Thee for love of them and for their advantage. By doing this, we possess Thee the more completely; for, although the will has less satisfaction in the enjoyment of Thee, the soul is glad that Thou art pleased, and sees that, while we live in this mortal life, earthly joys are unsure, even though they seem to be bestowed by Thee, unless they are accompanied by the love of our neighbor. He who loves not his neighbor, loves not Thee, my Lord; for in all the Blood Thou didst shed, we see the exceeding great love which Thou bearest for the children of Adam.” (Teresa of Jesus, Exclamations of the Soul to God, 2).
“O Lord, I beseech You, keep my faith pure and grant that, until my last sigh, I may feel the testimony of a good conscience. Grant that I, who have been baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, may always believe what I professed in the Sacrament of my regeneration. Let me adore You, my Father, and Your Son with You; let me be worthy of the Holy Spirit Who proceeds from You and Your only-begotten Son. Truly I have a worthy pledge of faith to guarantee what I believe, and it is He Who said, ‘Father, all that is Mine is Yours, and all that is Yours is Mine,’ Jesus Christ, my Lord, Who lives in You and Who, remaining God, proceeds from You, is always near You, and is blessed forever and ever.” (St. Hilary).
“I renounce Satan! O my God, this was my baptismal promise, a solemn promise made in the presence of the Church, a promise so explicit that no one can dispense me from it, a promise recorded by angelic hands, a promise on which I shall be judged at the hour of my death.
O my God, I desire to renew very fervently that promise today. Therefore, with all my heart and all my strength, I renounce you, O Satan; I renounce you, abominable sin; I renounce you, detestable world!
O Lord Jesus Christ, I give myself entirely to You forever. I desire to adhere to Your holy doctrine by faith, to Your sacred promises by hope, to Your divine commandments and counsels by love and charity. I desire to follow You by the practice of all the virtues. I desire to follow You as my Head, as a living member of Your Body.” (St. John Eudes).