You give me the impression that you are carrying your heart in your hands, as if you were offering goods for sale. Who wants it? If it takes no creature's fancy, you will come and give it to God.
Do you think that is how the saints acted?
Creatures for you? Creatures for God: if for you, then let it be for God's sake.
Why stoop to drink in the pools of worldly consolation when you can quench your thirst in waters that spring up into life everlasting.
Detach yourself from people and things until you are stripped of them. For, says Pope Saint Gregory, the devil has nothing of his own in this world, and naked he comes to battle. If you go clothed to fight him, you will soon be pulled to the ground: for he will have something to catch you by.
It's as if your guardian Angel were saying to you: 'You fill your heart with so much human attachment!… And that, then, is what you want your Guardian to guard!'
Detachment. How hard it is! Oh, to be fastened by nothing but three nails and to have no more feeling in my flesh than the Cross I
Don't you feel that greater peace and closer union await you when you respond to that extraordinary grace which demands your total detachment?
Struggle for him, to please him: but strengthen your hope.
Go, generously and like a child ask him: 'What can you mean to give me when. you ask me for "this"?'
You are afraid of becoming cold and distant towards everyone. For you want to be so detached!
There is no need to worry: if you belong to Christ — completely to Christ! — from him you will get fire, light and warmth for all men.
Jesus isn't satisfied 'going halves': he wants the lot.
You won't submit to the will of God… and yet you fall in with the will of the most insignificant creature!
Surely there must be something wrong somewhere! If God gives himself to you, why are you so attached to creatures?
So now it's tears! It hurts, doesn't it? Of course, man! It was meant to.
Your heart weakens and you clutch at an earthly support. Very good: but take care that what you grasp to stop you from falling doesn't become a dead weight dragging you down, a chain enslaving you.
Tell me: is that… a friendship, or is it a fetter?
You are a squanderer of tenderness. And I tell you: charity towards your neighbour — yes, always. But — listen to me, apostolic soul — from Christ and for him alone is that other feeling which God himself has placed in your heart. Besides, isn't it a fact that the drawing back of any one of the bolts of your heart — and it needs seven of themhas more than once left a cloud of doubt floating on your supernatural horizon…, and, tormented in spite of the purity of your intentions, you asked yourself: haven't I perhaps gone too far in my outward show of affection?
Put your heart aside. Duty comes first. But, when fulfilling your duty, put your heart into it. It helps.
If thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee! Your poor heart, that's what scandalizes you!
Press it, squeeze it tight in your hands: give it no consolations. And when it asks for them, say to it slowly and with a noble compassion — in confidence, as it were: 'Heart, heart on the Cross, heart on the Cross!'
How is that heart of yours getting along? Don't worry: the saints — who were perfectly ordinary, normal beings like you and me — also felt those 'natural' inclinations. And if they had not felt them, their 'supernatural' reaction of keeping their heart — soul and body — for God, instead of giving it to creatures, would have had little merit.
That's why, once the way is seen, I think that the heart's weaknesses need be no obstacle for a determined soul, for a soul in love.
You who for an earthly love have gone through so much, do you really believe that you love Christ when you are not willing — for him! — to suffer that humiliation?
You write: 'Father, I have a… toothache in my heart'. — I won't laugh, because I realize that you need a good dentist to do a few 'extractions' for you.
If only you were willing!…
'If only I had broken it off at the start!' you said. — Let us hope you haven't to repeat that tardy complaint.
'I was amused to hear you speak of the "account" that our Lord will demand of you. No, for none of you will he be a judge — in the harsh sense of the word; he will simply be Jesus.' These lines, written by a good bishop, have consoled more than one troubled heart, and could well console yours.
Suffering overwhelms you because you take it like a coward. Meet it bravely, with a christian spirit: and you will regard it as a treasure.
How clear the way! How easily seen the obstacles! What good weapons to overcome them!… — And nevertheless, what side-tracking and what stumbling! Isn't it true?
That fine thread — that chain: that chain of wrought iron — of which you and I are conscious and which you don't want to break, that is what draws you from your way and makes you stumble and even fall.
Why do you hesitate? — Cut it… and advance!
Surely God's Love is worth any love.