It gives him Joy and Consolation
Only a burning and unchangeable love is capable of filling a whole life with sunlight, for it is love that possesses the secret of gladdening the heart even in the midst of great sorrows and crushing fatigue.
|Fr. Jean-Baptiste Chautard|
The life of an apostolic worker is a tissue of sufferings and hard work. What hours of sadness, anxiety, and gloom await the apostle who has not the conviction that he is loved by Christ – no matter how buoyant his character may be – unless perhaps the demon fowlers make the mirror of human consolations and of apparent success glitter before the simple bird, to draw him into their inextricable nets. Only the man-God can draw from a soul this su.” In the midst of my inmost trials, the Apostle is saying, the summit of my being, like that of Jesus on Gethsemani, tastes a joy that, though it has nothing sensible about it, is so real that , in spite of the agony suffered by my interior self, I would not exchange it for all the joys of the world.perhuman cry “I exceedingly abound with joy in all our tribulation
When trials come, or contradiction, humiliation, suffering, the loss of possessions, even the loss of those we love, the soul will accept all these crosses in a far different manner than would have been the case at the beginning of his conversion.
From day to day he grows in charity. His love has nothing spectacular about it, perhaps; the Master may give him the treatment accorded to strong souls and lead him through the ways of an ever more and more profound annihilation or by the path of expiation for himself and for the world. It matters little. Protected by his recollection, nourished by the Holy Eucharist, his love grows without ceasing, and the proof of this growth is to be found in the generosity with which he sacrifices and abandons himself; in the devotedness which urges him to press forward, careless of the difficulty, to find those souls upon whom he is to exercise his apostolate with such patience, prudence, tact, compassion, and ardor as can only be explained by the penetration of the life of Christ in him. Vivit vero in me Christus.
The Sacrament of love must be the Sacrament of Joy. There is no interior soul that is not at the same time a Eucharistic soul, and consequently, one who enjoys inwardly the gift of God, delights in His presence, and tastes the sweetness of the Beloved possessed within the soul and there adored.
The life of the apostolic man is a life of prayer. And the Saint of Ars says: “The life of prayer is the one big happiness on this earth. O marvelous life! The wonder of the union of a soul with God! Eternity will not be long enough to understand this happiness … The interior life is a bath of love, into which the soul may plunge entirely… And there the soul is, as it were, drowned in love… God holds the interior soul the way a mother holds her Baby’s head in her hand, to cover him with kisses and caresses.”
Further our joy is nourished when we contribute to cause the object of our love to be served and honored. The apostle will know all these joys.
Using active works to increase his love, he feels, at the same time, an increase of joy and consolation. A “hunter of souls” – venator animarum – he has the joy of contributing to the salvation of beings that would have been damned, and thus he has the joy of consoling God by giving His souls from whom He would have been separated for eternity. And finally he has the joy of knowing that he thus obtains for himself one of the firmest guarantees of progress in virtue and of eternal glory.