"No one in the world
can change Truth. What we can do and should do is to seek truth
and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is the
inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hecatombs of
extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the
depth of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use
are the victories on the battlefield if we ourselves are
defeated in our innermost personal selves?"
"We Must Sanctify the Whole World"
A Letter of St.
I rejoice greatly, dear brother, at the outstanding zeal that
drives you to promote the glory of God. It is sad to see how in
our times the disease called “indifferentism” is spreading in
all its forms, not just among those in the world but also among
the members of religious orders. But indeed, since God is worthy
of infinite glory, it is our first and most pressing duty to
give him such glory as we, in our weakness, can manage – even
that we would never, poor exiled creatures that we are, be able
to render him such glory as he truly deserves.
Because God’s glory shines
through most brightly in the salvation of the souls that Christ
redeemed with his own blood, let it be the chief concern of the
apostolic life to bring salvation and an increase in holiness to
as many souls as possible. Let me briefly outline the best way
to achieve this end – both for the glory of God and for the
sanctification of the greatest number. God, who is infinite
knowledge and infinite wisdom, knows perfectly what is to be
done to give him glory, and in the clearest way possible makes
his will known to us through his vice-gerents on Earth.
It is obedience and obedience
alone that shows us God’s will with certainty. Of course our
superiors may err, but it cannot happen that we, holding fast to
our obedience, should be led into error by this. There is only
one exception: if the superior commands something that would
obviously involve breaking God’s law, however slightly. In that
case the superior could not be acting as a
faithful interpreter of God’s will.
God himself is the one infinite,
wise, holy, and merciful Lord, our Creator and our Father, the
beginning and the end, wisdom, power, and love – God is all
these. Anything that is apart from God has value only in so far
as it is brought back to him, the Founder of all things, the
Redeemer of mankind, the final end of all creation. Thus he
himself makes his holy will known to us through his vice-gerents
on Earth and draws us to himself, and through us – for so he has
willed – draws other souls too, and unites them to himself with
an ever more perfect love.
See then, brother, the tremendous
honour of the position that God in his kindness has placed us
in. Through obedience we transcend our own limitations and align
ourselves with God’s will, which, with infinite wisdom and
prudence, guides us to do what is best. Moreover, as we become
filled with the divine will, which no created thing can resist,
so we become stronger than all others.
This is the path of wisdom and
prudence, this is the one way by which we can come to give God
the highest glory. After all, if there had been another, better
way, Christ would certainly have shown it to us, by word and by
example. But in fact sacred Scripture wraps up his entire long
life in Nazareth with the words and he was obedient to them
and it shows the rest of his life to have been passed in similar
obedience – almost as an instruction to us – by showing how he
came down to Earth to do the Father’s will.
Brethren, let us love him above all, our
most loving heavenly Father,
and let our
obedience be a sign of this perfect love, especially when we
have to sacrifice our own wills in the process.
And as for a book from which to learn how to grow in the love of
God, there is no better book than Jesus Christ crucified.
All this we will achieve more
easily through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin, to
whom the most kind God has given the task of dispensing his
There is no doubt that the will of Mary should be the will of
God for us. When we dedicate ourselves to him, we become tools
in her hands just as she became a tool in his. Let us let her
direct us and lead us by the hand. Let us be calm and serene
under her guidance: she will foresee all things for us, provide
all things, swiftly fulfil our needs both bodily and spiritual,
and keep away from us all difficulty and suffering.
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