O God of my soul, how we hasten to offend You and how You hasten even more to pardon us! What reason is there, Lord, for such deranged boldness? Could it be that we have already understood Your great mercy and have forgotten that Your justice is just?
The sorrows of death surround me [Ps 18:5]. Oh, oh, oh, what a serious thing sin is, for it was enough to kill God with so many sorrows! And how surrounded You are by them, my God! Where can You go that they do not torment You? Everywhere mortals wound You.
O Christians, it’s time to defend your King and to accompany Him in such great solitude. Few are the vassals remaining with Him, and great the multitude accompanying Lucifer. And what’s worse is that these latter appear as His friends in public and sell Him in secret. He finds almost no one in whom to trust. O true Friend, how badly they pay You back who betray You! O true Christians, help your God weep, for those compassionate tears are not only for Lazarus [cf. Jn 11:36] but for those who were not going to want to rise, even though His Majesty call them. O my God, how You bear in mind the faults I have committed against You! May they now come to an end, Lord, may they come to an end, and those of everyone. Raise up these dead; may Your cries be so powerful that even though they do not beg life of You, You give it to them so that afterward, my God, they might come forth from the depth of their own delights.
Lazarus did not ask You to raise him up. You did it for a woman sinner; [cf. Jn 11:33] behold one here, my God, and a much greater one; let Your mercy shine. I, although miserable, ask life for those who do not want to ask it of You. You already know, my King, what torment it is for me to see them so forgetful of the great endless torments they will suffer, if they don’t return to You.
O you who are accustomed to delights, satisfactions, and consolations, and to always doing your own will, take pity on yourselves! Recall that you will have to be subject forever and ever, without end, to the infernal furies. Behold, behold that the Judge who will condemn you now asks you; and that your lives are not safe for one moment. Why don’t you want to live forever? Oh, hardness of human hearts! May Your boundless compassion, my God, soften these hearts.
Saint Teresa of Avila
Teresa of Avila, St. 1985, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K; Rodriguez, O, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
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