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Love Is the Virtue Which Gives Us Strength

"LOVE is strong as death" (Cant. 8:6) As there is no created strength which can resist death, so there is no difficulty for a loving soul which love cannot overcome. When there is a question of pleasing its beloved, love conquers all, losses, contempt, and sorrow. "Nothing is so hard, but that the fire of love can conquer it." This is the most certain mark with which to know if a soul really loves God, if it is as faithful in love when things are adverse as when they are prosperous. St. Francis de Sales said that "God is quite as amiable when He chastises as when He consoles us, because He does all for love".

Indeed, when He strikes us most in this life, then it is that He love us most. St. John Chrysostom esteemed St. Paul in chains more fortunate than St. Paul caught up into the third heaven. Hence the holy martyrs in the midst of their torments rejoiced and thanked the Lord, as for the greatest favor that could fall to their lot, that of having to suffer for His love. And other saints, where there were no tyrants to afflict them, became their own executioners by the penances which they inflected upon themselves in order to please God. St. Augustine says that "For that which men love, either no labor is felt, or the labor itself is loved".

Affections and Prayers

O God of my soul, I pretend to love Thee, and yet I do nothing for Thy love. Would it not be a sign that I love Thee not, or very little? But send me the Holy Spirit, O Jesus, the Holy Spirit Who will give me strength to suffer for Thy love and do something for Thee before I die. I pray Thee, O my beloved Redeemer, let me not die now, cold and ungrateful to Thee as I have been. Though I have committed so many sins for which I should be in hell, grant me the courage to love suffering, to do something for Thee.

O my God, Whose nature is all goodness and love, Thou desirest to be the guest of my soul from which I have so often driven Thee. Oh! come and dwell in it: be Thou its Master and make it all Thine.

I love Thee, O my Lord, but if I love Thee Thou art already with me, since St. John assures us that "He who abides in love abides in God and God in him". Thou art within me then, O my God. Make my love more ardent still. Bind me with stronger chains that I may desire, seek and love nothing but Thee. Let me never be separated from Thy love.

I desire to be all Thine, O my Jesus.

O Mary, my Queen and Advocate, obtain for me love and perseverance.


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