With bands of love

by | May 11, 2024 | Presence


Why is it so hard to walk the talk of Faith? Why do we only permit God to refine us to a certain point, but no farther? God is in the resistance. He isn’t the cause of it. He is in it waiting to walk you through ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ is. Our deepest wounds look like a bottomless abyss. Our fear is that, upon entering, we will remain trapped within it. However, once we allow God to take us into that space, we discover that, rather than an abyss without end, it is merely a place in our heart darkened because no light has been allowed to enter. Open the doors and windows, and any darkened room suddenly takes on a new character.

The enemy wants us to leave that space dark (Sp. Ex. 326) for it gives him a foothold to tweak our emotions, irrationally heighten our sensitivities, and lure us into self-protecting and controlling behaviors which then like a vacuum suck us down into sin. He gives us the thoughts to rationalize our choices in very convincing words. He not only puts fear into our hearts—fear is never of God—he gives us the rationale to believe it. We then spread that disordered thinking to others when we share our reasoning.

God gives us the actual grace to live well in spite of this, waiting for us to respond to His Spirit who prays unceasingly in the baptized soul (CCC2740). The problem is that we become too self-assured in our false reasoning to respond. Comfortable in one’s own dysfunction, why change?

“Because prayer, exercising her in the above way, unites with God the soul that follows the footprints of Christ crucified and, thus, by desire and affection and union of love, makes her another Himself.” (St. Catherine of Siena, A Treatise of Divine Providence) 

There are many reasons to change:

  • Entering the abyss, one discovers it is actually a room in their heart reserved for them and Jesus alone. Once you share it with Him, it is taken into His Sacred Heart and becomes your Sacred Space together. “The mystics often speak of a secret joy in some remote part of the soul, even in the midst of darkest times and worst torments, a joy they would not trade for any pleasure in the world whatsoever. … They [joy and suffering] are not simply juxtaposed, one next to each other, but they are within one another.” (Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa)
  • To do so requires giving it up completely, no holding onto the emotions, fear, self-pity or sentimentality. We cannot go to God around our humanity, only through
  • It is in the process that relationship is built. God could heal everything if He chose, but we would not know how to love or grow to love Him and others. By walking through the healing process with Him, we experience love in its truest form: living, interacting, relating. It is through the process that we are brought into that Trinitarian communion of love. “I drew them with bands of love” (Hosea 11:4).
  • It is in the process of healing that we are released from bondage. We regain spiritual intuition. We engage more fully the virtuous behaviors. As these refine the soul naturally, grace builds upon nature by enlivening the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit just waiting in our soul.
  • To the extent that we allow healing and take part in it honestly so it is full, Christ stamps Himself on the soul[i]. In a manner of speaking, His intellect and will become ours in this way. We literally have more of Him in us. “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).

This is the process and action of sanctification, intended for every human soul. The habitual existence of Grace within is the life intended for every baptized soul in this life, and fully realized in the eternal life to come.

Jesus’ ascension into Heaven gave us that bridge so that our human nature can be elevated to participate in God’s divine nature, scars and all. Allowing healing by being completely honest in it brings us into this union in moments now and gives us a foretaste of the eternal. A deeper, more mature relationship with God exists that cannot be developed through any other means than suffering and healing together. In the process, Mercy annihilates evil, which is why Satan’s tactics will become sneakier as a person grows closer to God (Sp. Ex. 332). Everything Satan does is for the purpose of breaking our relationship with God. The greatest weapon we have, then, is precisely our relationship with God. The most effective means of protecting ourselves and our loved ones is our own holiness.

My Gift to the Christ child

Jesus, I give you my hands to do your work,

I give you my feet to go your way,

I give you my eyes to see as you see,

I give you my ears to hear as you hear,

I give you my tongue to speak as you speak,

I give you my heart that you may love in me your Father and all mankind

I give you my spirit that it may be you who prays in me,

I give you my whole self, Lord Jesus, that it may be You who grows, works, loves and prays in me. Amen.


Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam 😊


[i] Arintero, in Mystical Evolution, quotes St. Cyril of Alexandria that “Made participants in the Son through the Holy Ghost, we have received the stamp of His likeness and have been conformed to the Divine Image.” (p. 147, footnote 21). Bacquez is quoted “If all the faithful would cooperate with their calling, Jesus Christ would live in them and reproduce in each one of them, together with His affections and virtues, the likeness of His mysteries.” (p. 153, footnote 40). Arintero explains that “the Word, directly joined to our nature through the Incarnation…fashions us to His own Likeness” (p. 59) through the Holy Ghost which, “stamps us invisibly with the impress of the Word” (p. 183).

(Image by Jan Matejko, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

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