I Believe in Love

My dear friends,

A very important part of this Jubilee Year is allowing God to form our minds and hearts with the right understanding of His mercy, so that we will approach His mercy with greater confidence and trust. This is precisely what Jesus is doing through the parables of the lost coin, the lost sheep, and the lost son in Luke’s Gospel. As a further way to help foster this confidence and trust, I’d like to offer a few quotes from a wonderful book that we have in our resource center called I Believe in Love, by Fr. Jean C.J. d’Elbee. The book is based on a retreat that Fr. Jean gave on the life of St. Therese of Liseaux. Here are some of the pearls of spiritual wisdom in this book:

Thus the soul which suffers to see itself tarnished by its faults and failings, and which exposes itself to the rays of the divine, transforming Sun, can say to Jesus, “Jesus, I come to you completely beautiful, beautiful like the Sun which You are, pure with Your own purity, beautiful with Your own beauty, rich with Your own treasures.

To the sick who asked Him to cure them on the roads of Palestine, Jesus posed only one question: “Do you believe that I can heal you?” The response: “Yes, Lord!” Jesus: “Be it done unto you as you have believed.” Jesus says to you now, “Do you believe that I can purify you in a moment and wipe from your soul every trace of sin?” “Yes, Lord, I believe.” “Then it is done,” replies the Lord, “because you believe, because you do not doubt it, because you know enough to cling to my infinite mercy, because you remember how I treated the prodigal son, the good thief, and the woman of Canaan when they vanquished me by their humility and confidence.”

(When I’m aware of my sinfulness), right away, in the present moment, I say to Jesus that I know that He loves me and that I love Him. His arms, his Heart are always open, and I can take refuge there this instant, since my wretchedness, far from being an obstacle, is a springboard to propel me there.

Even a fall strengthens us if we repent of it, since Jesus brings good out of evil. Go to Him as to a fountain of living water, as many times as necessary, picking yourself up, each time more humble and each time more overflowing with confident love. If you make each sin an occasion for you to kiss the wound of His heart with repentance and confidence, each sin will become a rung in the ladder by which you ascend in love. From misery to misery we go from mercy to mercy.

St. Claude de la Colombiere writes: “As for me I glorify You, O God, in making known how good You are toward sinners, and that Your mercy prevails over all malice, that nothing can destroy it, that no matter how many times or how shamefully we fall, or how criminally, a sinner need not be driven to despair of your pardon.”

God’s greatest pleasure is to pardon. The good Lord is more eager to pardon a repentant sinner than a mother to rescue her child from the fire. Our faults are grains of sand beside the great mountain of the mercies of God. God, at the moment of absolution, throws our sins over His shoulder. He forgets them; He annihilates them; they shall never reappear.

If you are still looking for a good book to nourish your heart during Lent, I would highly recommend I Believe in Love. Check out our Resource Center for this and other books.

God love you,

Fr. Steven





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