BLTC Press Titles

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Mortal Coils

Aldous Huxley

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite

The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas

Further Adventures of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross

All for Jesus; or, The easy ways of divine love

by Frederick William Faber



Jesus belongs to us. He vouchsafes to put Himself at our disposal. He communicates to us everything of His which we are capable of receiving. He lores ns with a love which no words can tell, nay, above all our thought and imagination; and He condescends to desire, with a longing which is equally indescribable, that we should love Him, with a fervent and entire love. His merits may be called ours as well as His. His satisfactions are not so much His treasures as they are ours. His sacraments are but so many ways which His love has designed to communicate Him to our souls. Wherever we turn in the church of God, there is Jesus. He is the beginning, middle, and end of everything to us. He is our help in penance, our consolation in grief, our support in trial. There is nothing good, nothing holy, nothing beautiful, nothing joyous, which He is not to His servants. No one need be poor, because, if he chooses, he can have Jesus for his own property and possession. No one need be downcast, for Jesus is the joy of heaven, and it is His joy to enter into sorrowful hearts. We can exaggerate about many things; but we can never exaggerate our obligations to Jesus, or the compassionate abundance of the love of Jesus to us. All our lives long we might talk of Jesus, and yet we should never come to an end of the sweet things that are to be said about Him. Eternity will not be long enough to learn all He is, or to praise Him for all He has done; but then that matters not; for we shall be always with Him, and we desire nothing more.

He has kept nothing back from us. There is not a faculty of His Human Soul which has not had to do with our salvation. There is not one limb of His Sacred Body which has not suffered for us. There is not one pain, one shame, one indignity, which He has not drained to its last dreg of bitterness on our behalf. There is not one drop of His most Precious Blood which He has not shed for us; nor is there one beating of His Sacred Heart which is not an act of love to us. We read wonderful things in the Lives of the Saints about their love of God, wonderful things which we dare not think of imitating. They practised fearful austerities, or they spent years in unbroken silence, or they were ever in ecstasies or raptures, or they were passionately in love with contempt and suffering, or they pined and wasted away in holy impatience for death, or they courted death, and expired in the long tortures of an excruciating martyrdom. Each one of these things separately fills us with wonder. Yet, put them all together, conceive all the love of Peter, Paul, and John, of Joseph, and of Magdalen, of all the apostles and martyrs, the confessors and virgins of the Church in all ages, thrown into one heart, made, by miracle, strong enough to hold such love; then add to it all the burning love which the nine choirs of multitudinous angels have for God, and crown it all with the amazing love of the Immaculate Heart of our dear Mother; and still it comes not near to, nay, it is but a poor imitation of, the love which Jesus has for each one of us, however lowly and unworthy and sinful we may be! We know our own unworthiness. We hate ourselves for our own past sins. We are impatient with our own secret meanness, irritability, and wretchedness. We are tired with our own badness and littleness. Yet, for all that, He loves us with this unutterable love, and is ready, if need be, as He revealed to one of His servants, to come down from heaven to be crucified over again for each one of us.

The wonder is not merely that He should love us so much, but that He should love us at all. Considering who He is, and what we are, have we any one single claim to His love, except the excess and, without Him, the hopelessness of our misery? We have no claims upon Him, but those which He Himself in His compassion has invented for us. What can be more unlovely than we are, what more ungenerous, what more ungrateful? And yet He loves us with this excess of love! Oh, how is it we can ever turn ourselves away from this one idea? How is it we can take an interest in anything but this surpassing love of God for His fallen creatures? It is almost surprising how we can bear to go through our ordinary duties, or how it is that, like men in love with created loves, we do not forget to eat and drink, and sleep, feeling ourselves every hour of the day and night the object of the most profuse tenderness and the most unutterable abundance of the love of God, the Almighty, the All Wise, the All Holy, the All Beautiful, the Everlasting! O most incredible of startling wonders! Blessings are heaped upon us till we are almost out of breath with them. Graces are multiplied upon graces till they get beyond our power of reckoning. His compassions are new every morning. And then, after all, there is yet to come the recompense which eye has never seen, nor ear heard, nor heart conceived! This is His side of the question.

Alas! for our dearest Lord! Up to this day, what have we done for Him? And see what He has done for us; and the end of His doing it all was to gain our love! We look upon a crucifix, and it hardly moves us. We hear of His bitter Passion, but our eyes are dry, and our hearts indifferent. We kneel down to pray, but we can hardly keep our thoughts fixed upon Him for a quarter of an hour together. We go into His own most holy presence, and we hardly bend the knee before the Tabernacle, lest it should spoil our clothes. We see others sin, and what matter is it to us that Jesus is offended, so long as it is not we who are risking our souls by offending Him? Oh, these are strange signs of love! Surely Jesus cannot be much to us, it this is the way we feel about Him. Yet so it is. We go our own way, and do our own will. The great thing is to please ourselves, and to make things easy to us. Life must be taught to run smooth. As to penance, it must be kept at arm's length. We must have bodily comforts and worldly wnveniences, and our spiritual life must be nothing but a sufficiency of those inward consolations, without which our souls give us pain, because they are not at rest. If we worship God, it is for self; if we do good to others, it is self we are seeking, even in our charity. Poor Jesus Christ! as St. Alphonso used to say, poor Jesus Christ! Who thinks of Him? who weds His interests?

Yet this is the very object of our Confraternity of the Precious Blood,—to look after the interests of Jesus, and to forward them in every way we can. There is hardly any worldly object of importance which has not got some association to defend its rights and to forward its interests; why should not the interests of Jesus have one also? Science has its meetings, and its corresponding societies. Men band together in order to gain the victory for some favourite political opinions. They make companies for railways and for steampackets, and for coal-mines. Why should not we open an office to transact the affairs of Jesus, to protect His rights, and advance His interests? Now remember! this is just the business of the Confraternity of the Precious Blood. When we join it, we must leave self at the door. There is no self in it. It is all for Jesus. It is the office of the interests of Jesus.

Now, let us try to get an idea of the interests of Jesus; else, how shall we be able to do anything to advance them? Men cannot work in the dark; they must know what they are about. You know what it is to have an interest. If you look over the world, you will see that everybody has some interest at heart, and is working hard for it. There are almost as many interests in the world as there are men. Every one you meet in the streets is going after something. You see it in his face, his quick eye, and his rapid walk. Either it is political, or literary, or mercantile, or scientific, or fashionable, or simply ambitious, or dishonest. Still, -whatever it is, every man has Wedded the interest of his choice, and is doing his duty to it. He works hard for it all day; he goes to bed with the thought of it, and he wakes with it in the morning. Even on Sunday, it is rather his hand that is resting, than his head or his heart, they are full of his interest. Look what men will do, singly or banded, to put down slavery, or to get free trade, or to compete for a large order, or to carry the mails, or to make new railroads. It is plain men have interests enough in the world, that they love them dearly, and work for them manfully. Oh, that it were all for God, the good, the merciful, the eternal God.

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