For the past week, I have written about St. Therese and her Offering of herself as a holocaust to the Merciful Love of God.
This was one of the most signficant events in her life, and many scholars believe, the culmination of her little way of love.
The effect of this Offering on her already pure soul was manifested in the only intense mystical experience of her life, which followed a few days later. She received the “wound of love,” a favor which St. John of the Cross wrote is experienced only rarely, even among the Saints.
Today, in anticipation of her approaching Feast Day, I would like to share that, inspired by Therese, and with the dream of offering at least a bit of consolation to God, I decided to make her Act of Oblation.
Since this Offering is not merely a prayer, but rather a definite choice to offer oneself to God to become a victim of His Love, in whatever way He chooses to pour out that Love, I discussed this desire with my confessor, a very holy Franciscan priest, now deceased.
He was most encouraging, and so on Therese’s Feast Day in 1991, using her own words, I knelt before the tabernacle in the presence of my confessor, and with as much love and longing that I could express, I offered myself to God’s Love.
It goes without saying that I am not even worthy to be mentioned in the same breath as that Saint of Love, Therese. Yet, how true it is that God will not be outdone in generosity.
I knew that He had accepted my offering, for He rejects no good that we try to do for Him. And in the months and years that followed, I found myself drawn into a new place on the journey to His Heart. I became immersed in the Song of Songs, which spoke volumes to my soul.
The secrets of the King are best left unsaid (Tobit 12:7), but I have shared this much only to encourage anyone who is considering making this Offering, but is perhaps hesitant.
Many heavy crosses fell upon me in the years that followed, but I do not believe they were the fruit of my having offered myself to Love. I think they would have come anyway, but that God in His Great Mercy foresaw their approach, and drew me into this Way of Love so that He could cover these crosses with His Sweet Fragrance, and adorn them with more merits than they would have garnered otherwise.
I have already said too much, and I will probably soon remove this post from my blog. But I simply wanted to encourage even one heart out there who may be considering making this Offering. I realize that such things do not appeal to everyone. God calls us each to different paths.
But lest anyone feel they are unworthy to make such an offering, please know that you are then the Most Worthy. I quote Therese: Is the choice of me worthy of Love?…Yes, for in order that Love should be fully satisfied, it needs to stoop down, to stoop down to Nothingness and to transform this Nothingness into FIRE.
So, the least and littlest and the poorest souls are those which allow God’s Love to soar to the heights in manifesting Its Greatness and Magnanimity. Are we not most like God when we forgive and reach out to those who have done little for us, rather than to those who have indulged us and been attentive to our needs?
So, little souls, do not be afraid. Therese thought of you long ago: I beg You to choose in this world a multitude of little victims worthy of Your LOVE!!!
(I would also like to ask your prayers for the success of 40 days for Life, which begins in my area tomorrow. Thank you!)