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Of the Assumption of our Lady

That we ought not to rest with delight in any earthly or spiritual things, but only in our unknown God. How we ought to dwell in the Divine Inheritance, so that we may attain to that which is Eternal; or how we ought to share, with love and thankfulness, in the sufferings and life of our Lord in this life, that we may attain to the Glorified Inheritance of His precious Godhead.

In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et in haereditate Domini morabor.

“In all these I sought rest, and I shall abide in the inheritance of the Lord.”

The wise man spake these words, and we interpret them of our dear Lady, who well might say: “In all these I sought rest, and I shall abide in the inheritance of the Lord.”

These words may not be most suitably used of our dear Lady, for in mind she soared above the heavens, into the very depths of hell, into the deep sea and over the whole surface of the globe, and yet found no rest. No one in this life should strive to soar so high, but every one should fix an hour every day, at which he should offer unto our Lady special service and praise, and beseech her earnestly to guide us, draw us and help us in coming to her dearly-beloved Child; for her worth transcends all estimation and measure.

What a marvel it is that she should have laid her Creator and her God in her bosom; loving Him intensely above all imagining; and yet that she should never have doubted, but was always certain, that He was her God. She could behave to Him as His Mother, and He walked with her as her Child; and yet, never for one moment in all her life was she content with this; but in mind she soared ever above, and was lost in the Divine Abyss, in which alone she found her rest, her inheritance and her dwelling-place.

Children, the poison of the first Fall has sunk into the very depths of our nature. We have been made and placed between the two ends; time and Eternity. Time for us ought to be nothing more than a passage to the end; and Eternity should be our aim and our dwelling place. Now poor man, unhappily, because of his fallen nature and his blindness, is attacked by everything on his weakest side; he rests himself by the way and forgets his true destiny. His nature clings to everything with which it comes into contact; it clutches at whatever it may be, and seeks rest therein, either bodily or spiritual, internal or external. It is quite apparent how worldly men seek their rest and pleasure; and they will surely find out hereafter how things stand with them. But those who hide worldly hearts under a spiritual appearance, and find rest in temporal things, whoever they may be, and whatever may be the cares which oppress them, would find, if they only knew it, what would make their hearts shrivel up in terror. God made all things that are needful, not for our satisfaction or pleasure, but for Himself alone.

Children, I should be quite misunderstood were I to be supposed to have said: “I will not hear anyone’s confession unless he promises to do what I want.” It would be very wrong to say, “what I want.” I require nothing from any one beyond that which is written; and I beg that no one will make me this promise. I can absolve no one that is not sorry for his sins, neither can the Pope himself, unless the man desires to amend his life and to guard against sin, and also against the causes of sin, as much as lies in his power. Some men cling willingly and consciously to the causes of sin, and then go to confession and receive the Lord’s Body, while they will not acknowledge their sin. Because they do not steal and are not unchaste they go on as they are. They must judge for themselves how they an be absolved; they must find out, indeed, what repentance and sorrow there can be, when they thus look for rest and peace, while seeking for satisfaction, apart from God, either in their fellow-creatures, in clothes, in food or in creature comforts. Such men also seek for peace in spiritual matters and in things which look good; when such men have done anything wrong, they hurry off to make an outward confession, before they have confessed to God in their hearts, and have humbly pleaded guilty. They seek for natural repose in this outward confession, that they may get peace, and that the blame and reproofs of their own consciences may be stilled and silenced; for, when men have confessed, their minds are at ease and they are content. Confession and rebuke are like a fresh wound; they rub and scrub away the blight of sin.

Now, nature also seeks for rest in spiritual exercises. Some men hold so fast to their inner works and ways, to their exercises and secret discipline, that these good things lead them to wander from the Lord to lesser truths. In short, all in which man seeks for rest, and which is not wholly in God, is corrupt, however good it may be or seem to be, whether without form, or void, or senseless, or endowed with sense and usefulness. All that man rests in with delight, and possesses, is corrupt. Seek only for simple immersion in that bare, single, unknown, unnamed secret Good, which is God, denying self and all that may be found in self. As St Dionysius says: “God is not only that which thou canst receive of Him. He is above all wisdom, above all beings, above all goodness, above all that thou canst receive or know of Him. He is more than and higher than anything that man’s understanding can conceive; higher and yet lower, more and yet more, and far above all things.” Seek thy rest in this unknown God, but expect neither taste nor sight. Act like a dog, which comes and finds a good piece of meat; though he dares not touch it, and flees; for he is so used to hard blows. Hereafter thou wilt find that thus it really is; only bear thyself humbly in thy absolute nothingness, which is verily thy true condition. If anything is there, it is His, not thine; and turn not aside to all that seems plain to thee; though it be without form or sense, and is supernatural. Men say: “It is all real to me; and this proves that it is God.” Dear child, turn not there for rest; let it alone, whatever it may be; ask no more, but keep thyself under; sink beneath thine ignorance, neither desire to know. Keep thyself poor in thy hidden unknown God; and believe that thou art not the man who could in any way understand the great, unknown and hidden God. Rest in Him, and dwell in Him, and not in tasting and seeing.

It is written in the prophet Ezekiel: “The men that go into the sanctuary...shall have no inheritance; I am their inheritance.” Although this refers primarily to the priesthood, yet in a spiritual sense it refers to all men who desire to enter into the Holy of Holies, that is unto the secret Mystery of God. They are to have no inheritance, because the Divine, unknown, nameless, secret Being of God shall be their inheritance. They shall not bow their heads before anything else, either external or internal, or it will become corrupt. Turn not to it as though all were bad. Take that which is rough and uneven, rather than tasting and feeling. My dear child, rest not, seek not that which is thine own. As God chose to create and to make all things, before Him there was nothing but nothing. He did not make all things out of something, but out of nothing. When God chooses to work alone, He needs nothing but nothing. That which is nothing is more receptive of His works than that which is something. If thou desirest to be unceasingly susceptible of all that God may give, may work in and desire to see in the life and being of His most chosen Friends; and if thou desirest, especially, that He may pour out upon thee all His gifts; see to it, above all things, that in truth, in the very depths of thy heart, thou art nothing; for our self-assertion and self-pleasing hinder the work of God in us. The holy Job was praised by our Lord, Who said that he was upright, and perfect, and that his equal was not to be found, and that he had never spoken a foolish word; and yet Job said: “All that I have shall go down into the deepest pit.”

This holy man did not mean by this to refer to himself, and all that belonged to him, as created out of nothing, because man has no part in this; but he referred to himself, and all who belonged to him, who had come to nought, through their sins. This righteous man desired on account of his guilt to descend into the very lowest depths of the abyss, into the greatest suffering and deepest darkness of hell, as though he were speaking wisely either of his sins, or of the guilt that he had incurred, as though it were possible to do enough; he desired to suffer the severest and sharpest pain, and never to escape from it, till he had given satisfaction for this load of guilt.

One of our brethren, named Wigmann, spake in like manner. He was so conscious of his own nothingness that he could find no place for himself but in the lowest depths of hell, in the domains of Lucifer. As he lay there, he heard a voice calling from the highest heavens, which said: “Wigmann, come up to the highest Throne, the Father’s Heart.” Gregory says, that these men seek death and find it not. This love in fathomless annihilation answers to the life in truth, unsought, undesired, unintended; for the lower, the higher, and the less, the more.

Now let us take these words of our dear Lady. “I shall abide in the inheritance of the Lord.” There are two inheritances in which we ought to live. One is temporal, a worthy life with suffering in the Likeness of our Lord. The other inheritance, that for which we wait, is the glorified inheritance of the Blessed Godhead; the promise is made unto us that we shall be joint-heirs with Him, and members of His household throughout eternity. If we possess this temporal inheritance in faith, love, and thankfulness (even the Sufferings and Life of our Lord), in the same measure, in which we have disciplined ourselves, shall we also possess the Eternal Inheritance,—only more richly and blessedly.

The wounds of our Lord are all healed, except the Five Wounds, which will remain open until the Judgment Day; the Brightness of the Godhead which shines forth from them, and the blessedness which the Saints and Angels receive from them, is inexpressible. These five Doors should be our inheritance here; and we must enter through them into our Eternal Inheritance, our Fatherland. The Holy Ghost is the Porter, the Door-keeper of these doors. His dear love is ever ready to open unto us when we knock, and to let us in, that we may enter through them into the Inheritance of the Father; and, assuredly, no man can go astray who enters thereby.

These Five Wounds should teach us five lessons, which will guide us to all remedies; they are Suffering, Silence, Abstinence, Contempt and Self-denial in true resignation. Fall down before the left Foot, and draw from it strength to avoid all the pleasures and gratifications that thou hast, or desirest to have, apart from Him. Then immerse thyself with all thy power in the wound in the right Foot, and learn to suffer whatever may come upon thee, either from within or from without, and from whatever cause. Then draw sweetness from the right Hand, and beseech God to enable thee to keep silence, both outwardly and inwardly. No evil can ever befall him who possess these virtues, and keeps silence about all things. Then draw from the left Hand strength to despise all temporal things, both outwardly and inwardly, and all the changes and chances that thou lovest and carest for in spite of Him. Then flee, with all that thou hast, to His dear Heart that He has opened for His great Love; and then shall they receive of His eternally. Then man must learn to be ever denying himself in all ways; in love and sorrow, in possession and in want, in time and in eternity, as the Lord wills, and as it pleases Him that it shall come to pass in thee and in all creatures.

Thus, and in many holy meditations, ye must exercise yourselves in this blissful inheritance, and enter into this Eternal Inheritance by this safe Gate. Offer His guiltless Suffering to the Heavenly Father for your guilty suffering, His guiltless Thoughts for your guilty ones, and His Holy Word for your guilty words; and in like manner all His Actions, His Humility, His Patience, His Meekness and His Love, for all that is wanting in you, both without and within. If you thus possess this inheritance here with Him, the future inheritance is assured to you, that ye may dwell and rest for ever in the Inheritance of the Lord. Amen.

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