(The Meditations are updated weekly)
-Tenth Posting-

A Servant's Song
The Journey of a Soul through the Thickets of Life

Jesus, love me, because only Your Love can make me worthy of Your Love
 
Meditation on Our Lady of Guadalupe
[ for printable .pdf file click here]
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Letter to a Religious Sister
There is one thing that you must work on especially, and that is the habit you have of being preoccupied with yourself.  It is difficult to see through that habit because it takes on the mask of a genuine desire for virtue, and therefore one encourages self-preoccupation with oneself without realizing all the harm it is working in one’s soul.  I think we should use this letter to explain this carefully, because, as I see your soul, it is the root of every other difficulty you are experiencing.


The root of this habit is an implicit but real conviction that we must first bring Jesus our virtues in order to please Him and that He will not love us otherwise.  In practice, however, this gets to mean that unless I can rejoice in myself I cannot rejoice in Jesus.  And so, since it is His desire to give us everything, the inevitable result of this disposition is that the soul is left without the peace it seeks — because it is in fact a false peace, a peace in itself, which Jesus will not give because He loves the soul too much to let it rest in itself — which is just what it would want.
So, Sister, what you have to see through is the hypocrisy of this preoccupation with yourself; you tell yourself that it is only because you want to please Jesus, but He tells you that He is not pleased with that.  And so you must accept the conclusion, this preoccupation with yourself is to please yourself, not Him; and you have to be convinced of this, because unless you see that it is seriously wrong-headed, you will not have the motive or the strength to turn away from it in horror. 


It is just there, Sister, that you have been, more or less unconsciously, stubborn; you have not really wanted to give up this cultivation of “virtue” in yourself, even though you have been shown again and again how it is false, how it destroys your peace, makes you critical of others.  And I can tell you this with complete confidence, that unless you begin to hate this desire to be preoccupied with yourself, to take your complacency in yourself, unless you see through the duplicity of this habit, you will not make the progress God would want you to make, and you will not become the saint He would have you be.  So please do everything in your power to understand the viciousness of this habit, and especially the hypocrisy which makes it appear virtuous.
 
That is the negative pole.  The positive pole is the unceasing act of love, of giving yourself to Jesus at each moment, just as you are.  But how can you give yourself as you are if you are constantly seeking to be what you are not?  And if you do not give yourself as you are, how will you ever give yourself at all?  And yet this giving of oneself is the very act of love.  It is also the act of the child who depends for everything on her father.  It is also the act which glorifies God, and glorifies Him totally because it acknowledges in reality and truth that God is omnipotent.  And it is the one thing that Jesus wants—and you must see that you have been refusing to give Him that one thing, all these years.  It is true that you have seen it from time to time, and you have given yourself, for a single moment, at one time or another.  But this act of love, of giving yourself, must be ceaseless, and particularly for you now.  To do this the better, ask yourself now, why am I preoccupied with myself?  What purpose do I have?  What am I hoping to find as I look into myself this way?  And if you are attentive to the voice of truth, you will hear this: “You are trying to find peace in yourself, you are trying to convince yourself that you are worthy of the love of Jesus because of what you are in yourself!”  But to find the love of Jesus you must hate yourself, you must see that all this self-preoccupation is the work of the liar and hypocrite who refuses to hate her own soul.
 
The practical resolution of all this, Sister, is a fight to the death against this center of self-preoccupation, an unceasing act of love which will mortify this habit, not once, but at each breath, going to Jesus for everything you need, not only to receive his Love, but for the very disposition you need in order to receive it.
You say, Sister, “As for myself, I am weary.”  Sister, do you not see, that is why you are weary?  You are weary, worn out, trying to give Jesus what He does not want.  You do not hear his voice calling, “Come over to me all you who are burdened.”  So what can He do except to let you continue wearying yourself until you are ready to come over to Him.  Sister, you really are stubborn, but I know it is only though ignorance, because you do so much want to love God with your whole heart!  Then why don’t you?
 
I think there is something else that might help.  I think that you have, lurking in your imagination, some silly image of what it would be like to be loved by Jesus, some arbitrary criterion that you set up.  And then, when this is not forthcoming, you decide you are not loved.  But all that is so much garbage.  The simple truth is that you are loved by Jesus, and as much as you let Him love you.  That is what it means to live by faith.  But you are constantly looking for signs — one of your favorite signs is that others would be attracted to you if you were loved by God.  So you go around trying to convince yourself that others are attracted by you for that reason, to prove to yourself that God loves you.  And so you do all kinds of silly things, like talking too much, getting critical when you are frustrated in this desire, etc., etc., and all because you are looking for a sign, a sign of something which you know with the infallible certitude of faith, that Jesus loves you.  But if you are to let Him love you, you must be satisfied with what He gives you, you must make that the measure, only that, that is divine contentedness, to rejoice in what Jesus gives you just because He gives it to you, because He is your Spouse and He is Wisdom, and His Loving Wisdom provides just what His bride needs.  What more do you want?  But to be contented in this way, you must mortify this desire for signs.  But not to mortify it first in order to then be lovable to Jesus, but to mortify it in the very act of giving yourself to Jesus, to let Him destroy it with love, His love.
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Feeling Rejected by God
In the measure that I do not acknowledge my sins I feel rejected by God, and I am rejected to that extent, to the extent that I do not accept Him Who is Truth.
And, therefore, I hide from Him in fear and anxiety, and  again to that extent, my prayers are to propitiate a God whom I fear with servile fear, to pay back with my own works for an offense which at bottom I do not acknowledge, and which only Jesus can undo for me as I am united with Him in Mary.
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Let Him Kiss Me with the Kiss of His Mouth
“Let Him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth, for thy breasts are better than wine.”
(Cant. 1:1)
There are three persons in this canticle, this Song of Songs:  first there is this "Him" whose kiss is desired; next there is this "thy" whose breasts are better than wine, and third, there is the person speaking, this "me" who desires this kiss. Who, then, are these three persons? And whose kiss is desired? Most certainly it is God Himself, for this canticle is a sacred song of love, and this unrestrained expression of love, were its object any other than God Himself, far from being sacred, would be sinful.
 It is clear that there are three persons here, whereas in human love the relation is between two persons. Why, then, would one desire to be kissed by one person because of the breasts of another? Besides, it would seem strange to say "Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth" if this were addressed to a human person. For how would one kiss if not with his mouth?
 
Clearly, then, this is addressed to God. What does this kiss of His mouth signify, then? It might seem as though the human kiss were intended to signify,
through a metaphor, a certain embrace of intimacy with God. But it seems, as if to forestall this interpretation, we read "Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth," that is to say, it is as if to warn the reader not to take this too easily as a metaphor, as though God Himself did not have a mouth, but to interpret the words to mean that what is desired is the Kiss of God's mouth. What, then, is this mouth of God? What could it be if not that through which the word of God is spoken? And this suggests the Son, for the Son is the word of the Father.  As we speak our words through our mouth, so we may understand that the Father speaks His Word through His Son, who is at once the Word He speaks, and that through which He speaks. But as the human mouth is at once both the organ of speech and the instrument of love, as love is expressed by the kiss of the mouth, so here too, in God, the Father at once both speaks His Word in His Son, and likewise through the Son expresses His Love, for the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Love, proceeds from the Father through the Son.
 
This Person Whose kiss I desire, then, does indeed possess a mouth, and that Mouth is the Son, and this Person is the Father Whose kiss I desire. And that Kiss which I desire is the embrace of the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Mouth of the Father, from the Son, that is to say, from the Father through the Son. But in a very special way this is the intimate embrace of Holy Communion, since the Humanity of Christ, which is of the very substance of this sacrament, at once both proceeds from the Holy Spirit and is the Sacrament of Love. 
 
So these words may be taken to mean the soul’s desire for the loving embrace of the Father in the Son by the Love of the Holy Spirit. And since this desire of the soul is a desire for an intimacy of love with God, which is utterly and totally beyond the right of its nature, as though to give its justification for such an unheard of desire, as though to say, "For I am justified in asking for this kiss," the soul goes on to say, speaking of the Blessed Mother, "For thy breasts are better than wine," meaning that, since by God's own decree Mary was worthy to receive Jesus, I too, in her, am worthy, for her breasts are better than wine. That is to say, the grace that fills my soul through Mary makes me worthy to receive Jesus, that Kiss of Love whom she received, and whose worthiness to receive Him is, by her love and God's Will, now my worthiness in her.  Therefore, "Let Him kiss me with the Kiss of his mouth, for thy breasts are better than wine."  Let God the Father give me the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of His Son by the Love of the Holy Spirit, because the grace I receive through Mary makes me worthy of this embrace of love.


Editor's Note
We may note two other points about this mysterious prayer in Solomon's work, “Let Him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth, for thy breasts are better than wine.
First, there is the greater immediacy suggested by the "thy" of the mother as compared to the "Him" of the Father. Why is this?  The mother, Mary, is close at hand and is spoken to directly, whereas the Father is spoken "of", not "to", as if to suggest that He is both near and off somewhere, dealing with the larger order as fathers are obliged to do, a Father both remote and yet near and ready to kiss me. 
       Second, the Kiss that is sought is to be given because I have asked for It.  And of course I have asked for It with all my heart, as my cry "Let Him kiss me" reveals. Moreover, I seek to be kissed by his  mouth, by his Word, by Jesus, who will reveal to  me knowledge of the love that the Father has for me. But the kiss is something I ask for, something I believe I will receive, not something I celebrate as already having received. 
From the mother, from Mary, on the other hand, I proclaim that I am already receiving her love, which moves me to  assert that her breasts are better than wine. From Mary the nourishment I receive is better than wine, but like wine takes me out of myself, enabling me to call  for the Father's kiss and to open myself to receive His Word.

This progression from Mary's mediation to Jesus' revelation to the Father's love seems abundantly clear from a New Testament perspective. One wonders what else Solomon's inspiration here could have possibly meant. Was the Holy Spirit not moving him to speak of a kiss that had yet to be given, a Word that was yet to come into the world to convey a far deeper revelation of the Father's love?
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"I love you with your defects — there is only one reason why I hate your defects — because they keep Me from loving you more!"
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ARCHIVES
First Posting - In Whom We Have Our Being
Second Posting - Look At Me
Third Posting - You Must Not Force Your Love
Fourth Posting - I nterior Silence
Fifth Posting - I Speak To Each Soul
Sixth Posting - Thinking of Dismas
Seventh Posting - Sunshine of the Soul
Eighth Posting - When You Get Sad
Ninth Posting - Something About Your Faith
Longer Reflections