Meaning isn’t something created by our hands or even something our eyes can gleefully find. No. Meaning is a revelation known within the heart via love. How does this revelation occur? The answer to that lies in
the bareness of the Cross.
Jesus gave us the Cross so the Cross might give us Love
L 106 To Madame de Bobet
[February 10, 1902]
Dijon Carmel, February 10
J. M. + J. T.
Very dear Madame,
I don’t know how to thank you, you have spoiled me so much; if you knew how much pleasure you have given me! I so desired this beautiful Canticle of Saint John of the Cross, and, given by you with this pretty thought on its first page,* it is doubly precious to me. It is right here beside me on my little board in our dear little cell; but will I tell you that I need to look at it in order to think of you, dear Madame?
Oh no, of course not, for my thoughts and my heart, or rather my soul, find you in the One near whom there is neither separation nor distance and in whom it is so good to meet. Would you like Him to be our “Rendez-vous,” our Meeting Place, dear Madame? Our souls have certainly made an impact on each other: we know each other very little and we love each other so much. Oh! it is Jesus who has done that; may He thus bind us together and may He consume us in the flames of His love.
A Dieu, dear Madame, know that behind the grilles of Carmel you have a little heart that keeps a very faithful memory of you, a soul wholly united to yours and deeply fond of you. Thank you again. I don’t know how to say it, it is He who will bring it to you on behalf of His little fiancée.
Elizabeth of the Trinity
A kiss to dear little Simone.
*The book Vie et oeuvres de saint Jean de la Croix, vol. 4, Le Cantique spirituel et La vive Flamme d’amour [Life and Works of Saint John of the Cross, vol. 4, The Spiritual Canticle and The Living Flame of Love], 1892, 3d ed., autographed on February 3, 1902, by Mme. de Bobet, carries this thought: “Jesus gave us the Cross so the Cross might give us Love.” Simone was Mme. de Bobet’s daughter.
The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 2: Letters from Carmel
You should take care always to be inclined to the difficult more than to the easy, to the rugged more than to the soft, to the hard and distasteful in a work more than to its delightful and pleasant aspects; and do not go about choosing what is less a cross, for the cross is a light burden (Mt. 11:30). The heavier a burden is, the lighter it becomes when borne for Christ.
Saint John of the Cross
Counsels to a Religious, 6
Tenga siempre cuidado de inclinarse más a lo dificultoso que a lo fácil, a lo áspero que a lo suave, y a lo penoso de la obra y desabrido que a lo sabroso y gustoso de ella, y no andar escogiendo lo que es menos cruz, pues es carga liviana (Mt. 11, 30); y cuanto más carga, más leve es, llevada por Dios.
San Juan de la Cruz
Avisos a un Religioso, 6
Counsels to a Religious, 6 The Collected Works of Saint John of the Cross, Revised Edition Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. With Revisions and Introductions by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. ICS Publications Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.
BLESSED MARIA SAGRARIO
OF SAINT ALOYSIUS GONZAGA
Virgin and Martyr
Maria Sagrario was born at Lillo (Toledo) on 8th January 1881. A pharmacist by trade, she was one of the first women in Spain to be admitted to this qualification. In 1915 she entered the Carmel of St. Anne and St. Joseph in Madrid. Through her spirit of prayer and her love for the Eucharist, she was a perfect embodiment of the contemplative and ecclesial ideal of the Teresian Carmel. She was Prioress of her community when she was martyred on 15th August 1936. It was a grace she longed for and accepted in perfection of faith and ardent love for Christ.
From the common of martyrs or of virgins
THE SECOND READING
From the letters and writings of Blessed Maria Sagrario
Following Christ by way of humility and the cross
May Jesus reign always in my heart! The Lord asks me to be humble, to weep over my sins, to love him much, to love my sisters much, to mortify them in nothing, not to mortify myself uselessly, to live recollected in him wanting nothing for myself, completely surrendered to his divine will.
In this vale of tears, suffering will not be lacking, and we should be content to have something to offer to our most beloved Jesus who wanted so much to suffer for love of us. The most direct way to unite ourselves to God is that of the cross, so we should always desire it. May the Lord not permit that I be separated from his divine will.
Blessed be God who gives us these ways of offering ourselves up to his love! The day will arrive when we will rejoice for having suffered in this way. Meanwhile, let us be generous, suffering everything, if not with happiness, at least in close conformity to the divine will of him who suffered so much out of love for us. However great are our sufferings, they come nowhere near his. If you wish to be perfect, seek first of all to be quite humble in thought, word, deed and desire; learn well what this means and work tenaciously to carry it out. Keep your gaze always on our most beloved Jesus, asking him in the depths of his heart what he desires for you, and never deny him anything, even if it means going strongly against the grain for you.
Blessed be he who arranges everything for our good! In possessing him, we possess everything.
I have fought the good fight to the end;
I have run the race to the finish. I have kept the faith;
—all there is to come for me now is the crown of righteousness.
Because of the supreme advantage
of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
I count everything else as loss,
that I may partake of his sufferings
by being molded to the pattern of his death.
—All there is to come for me now is the crown of righteousness.
who by a spirit of prayer and devotion to the Eucharist
prepared Blessed Maria Sagrario to suffer martyrdom,
grant that we, through her example,
may freely spend our lives for you
by faithfully and constantly fulfilling your will.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.