I love old books. I love their musty smell, their yellowed pages, and the wisdom they contain. For me they have perennial appeal. So when I came across a book called "Rules for the Spiritual Life" by Fr. José Treviño (written back in the 1950s) I knew it had to contain treasures that no modern-day self-help/’spiritual’ book could ever aspire to. This is just one passage I came across towards the end about the perfection of the spiritual life, which the author takes from Archbishop Martínez.
The mission of a soul which has received the grace of spiritual fecundity is
to conceive and give birth to Jesus mystically, spreading him around like
a gently radiating light, like a perfume which makes everything around it
fragrant. Such a soul is to Jesus a mother…as the Blessed Virgin rested in a
heavenly way when she pressed against her heart her most sweet Son and
when she saw in him, more numerous than the stars of heaven, the innumerable
souls redeemed through his blood and incorporated into him through faith
and love; so souls which have received from God the singular gift of spiritual
maternity find their rest in pressing to their heart the divine Jesus and in him
all the souls, to whom, according to the divine designs, his vital influence is
to extend. What a magnificent mission! What a sublime rest! (pp. 169-170,
Rules for the Spiritual Life by Fr. José Guadalupe Treviño. Milwaukee: Bruce
Publishing Company, 1956.)
This might seem too strange and incomprehensible for many. Everyone talks of God nowadays, from politicians to scientists, but real mysticism, real intimacy with Christ, is too much to delve into. We can be…mothers of Jesus? Wasn’t there just one mother for Jesus? Yet Christ himself said that he who does his will is his mother and sister and brother. (cf. Mt. 12:46) Yes, both men and women can be ‘mothers’ in the sense that they can (and should) bring Christ into the world. But that’s just too extreme for many. Isn’t it enough to just be a ‘good person,’ to ‘be like Jesus’ but not to become one with him? But that’s just it; the bond between a mother and child is the most intimate of human relationships. And this is the kind of intimacy that Christ longs for with every soul. Those who back away thinking ‘it’s just too weird’ are missing out in a huge way. This is the real stuff; this is the fine aged Bordeaux wine as opposed to the cheap boxed Zinfandel. We are called to the greatest intimacy possible with our Lord, who became flesh and dwelt among us. We are called to a vital union with him and with all souls.
is this possible? It is all done through the life of grace and the offering of our daily life;
that’s all. Christ said it himself; we simply have to accomplish his will. He forms his image
in us, and we form his image in others, ‘to conceive and give birth to Jesus
mystically.’ We just offer everything, all the good things, all the little annoyances,
striving to live charity to the best of our ability, and the Word becomes flesh. Christ becomes more
real for us and for others. We obey and accept God’s will for us in the everyday things, as
Mary did, and Jesus comes to dwell within us. If we are in the state of grace and we receive
Communion, he is with us both physically and spiritually. With Advent on the way, it would be good
to take another look at this idea and ponder it in order to make it a reality in our lives.
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