Feast of the Transverberation of Our Holy Mother Teresa of Jesus
“O my God… we were all created out of love, by love, and with love, so that we might enjoy You… Who are Love…. You give me the lofty ideal of loving him as You Yourself have loved him… And I also, for my neighbor’s sake, must leave myself and my love for creatures, and be ready to shed my blood for their salvation if necessary” (St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi).
Charity has no rigid requirements; it does not expect, and even less pretend, that others should adapt themselves to it, but it is always ready to accommodate itself to our brethren. God adapted Himself to us when He became man; yet, we do not know how to come down from the little pedestal of our personality to adapt ourselves to the mentalities, preferences, and needs of our brethren. We excuse ourselves by saying, “They are wrong; they are rude and ungrateful, they do not understand my needs, my sensibilities….” How we deceive ourselves! How petty we are in our demands on others!
Let us look at the Son of God, the Eternal Word, Who did not disdain to put Himself on our level, to the extent of taking on our mortal flesh and living a human life in the midst of us. During His earthly life, He did not choose for His companions intellectual men of refined education; He chose ignorant fishermen of rude mentality, men of simple tastes who knew very little about the refinements of life. He lived with them and adopted their ways quite naturally, without any singularity aside from His unlimited charity.
Certainly, we cannot conform to the desires of our brethren – not even with our superiors – when there is question, however slight, of something in opposition to the honor of God and to all the truths and His Commandments, judgments, and ceremonies handed down to us by Sacred Tradition. To do so in such cases would be culpable weakness. But there are many other occasions when it is simply a matter of not insisting upon our personal feelings, our point of view, our own tastes, but of effacing ourselves, and considering the mentality and tastes of others. Then condescension is solid virtue, and far from being weakness, it is a beautiful proof of moral strength, of that strength which knows how to overcome self and sacrifice its ego for the love of God. Lasting and perfect harmony are possible without this flexibility which makes us capable of adapting ourselves to our brethren.
A blessed Feast to everyone!