Embrace Jesus on the Cross, loving and beloved
"Dearest sister in Jesus. I, Catherine, servant of the servants of Jesus, write to you in His Precious Blood, wishing only that you feed yourself with GodÂs love and nourish yourself with it as at a motherÂs breast. Nobody in fact can live without this milk!
Who possesses GodÂs love, finds so much joy that every bitterness transforms itself into sweetness, and that every great weight becomes light. One must not be astonished because living in charity you live in God:
ÂGod is love, and he who abides in love, abides in God, and God abides in himÂ(1 John 4:16)
Thus, living in God you can have no bitterness because God is delight, gentleness and never-ending joy!
This is why GodÂs friends are always happy! Even if we are sick, poor, grieved, troubled, persecuted, we are always joyful.
Even if all the gossiping tongues were to set us in a bad light we would not worry; we rejoice and are delighted by all things because we live in God, our rest, and we taste the milk of his love. As a child who sucks the milk from his motherÂs breast, likewise we, in love with God, draw love from Jesus crucified, always following His footsteps and walking with Him on the path of humiliation, pain and insults.
We do not seek joy elsewhere than in Jesus and we avoid any glory which is not that of the Cross.
Embrace, then, Jesus crucified, raising to Him the eyes of your desire! Consider His burning love for you, which made Jesus pour out His blood from every part of His body!
Embrace Jesus crucified, loving and beloved, and in him you will find true life because He is God made man. Let your heart and your soul burn with the fire of love drawn from Jesus on the Cross!
You must, then, become love, looking at GodÂs love who loved you so much not because He had any obligation towards you but out of pure gift, urged only by His ineffable love.
You will have no other desire than to follow Jesus! As if you were drunken with Love, it will no longer matter whether you are alone or in company: do not think about many things, but only about finding Jesus and following Him!
Run,Bartolomea, do not stay asleep, because time flies and does not wait one moment!
Dwell in GodÂs sweet love.
Sweet Jesus, Jesus love."
From the ÂLettersÂ of St Catherine of Sienna (1347-1380) (letter no. 165 to Bartolomea, wife of Salviato of Lucca).
O inestimable Love! You enlighten us with your wisdom so that we may know your truth and the subtle deceptions of the devil.
With the fire of your love, set our hearts alight with desire to love you and to follow you in the truth.
You alone are Love, alone worthy of being loved!
(St Catherine of Sienna)
Prepared by the "Focolari Movement"