[continued from yesterday]
"Who is weak and I am not weak? Who is scandalised, and I am not on fire?" - "Greater love than this no man hath, that he lay down his life for his friend." Where is all this to be found, united in anyone human being? Where indeed!
Insist on the last drop of blood, and you will find it nowhere; nowhere except in One.
There is no human friendship but it can be snapped, none but it can be tried beyond its strength, even though it means the death of the one or the other. In One only is it invincible. One mind alone understands, better far than I understand myself, and has understood from the beginning, without any need of words of mine to tell it. One heart has bled, first from Its own crushing, but more because of the crushing of my heart, and bleeds on still, the more when my own has ceased to do so.
One soul has made Itself in all things like to mine, has shown me all It has and all It is, Its strength and Its seeming weakness, Its gladness and Its broken part, Its temptations, Its indignations, Its tears, Its appeals for help, Its cries of pain, and distress and desolation. One will alone has refused to set limits alike to Its giving and to Its receiving, has asked for no terms, has made no stipulations, has found me as I am, and has become one with me, my good and my evil, my weakness and my strength, without a word, without a thought of what It set aside for my sake.
One alone has not only borne my sorrows and carried my griefs, but has shown me His own, has "become sin" for me, has made Himself one with me and taken all the consequences; and yet withal, remains unex hausted. There is still no cry that He has given enough, that He can descend no lower, that He declines to show me, even me, every side of His nature.
Then have I not reason to be contented?
I show Him all my failures and my troubles, knowing that He does not merely listen, and pity, and patronise, but gives me of His own, and lets me see His wounds and His weakness in return. I bring Him all my strength, my little doughty deeds of which I am so childishly proud, and I know He does not make too much of my vainglory, much less does He make too much of me.
Instead, He rejoices with me when I rejoice, weeps with me when I weep, but then, and most of all, swallows up my rejoicing and weeping in His own. Yes, even on earth, I have found a perfect friend.
Inveni quem diligit anima mea, tenui eum nec dimittam - "I have found Him whom my soul loveth; I have held Him and will not let Him go."
Illum dilige, et amicum tibi retine, qui, omnibus recedentibus, te non relinquet, nec patietur in fine perire. Ab omnibus oportet te aliquando separari, sive velis, sive nolis - "From all others, willy nilly, you must some day be torn apart. Love Him and keep Him for your friend, Who, when an else secedes, will not leave you, nor suffer you to perish in the end!" (Imit. X ti. ii. 7).
From The School of Love and Other Essays
by The Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J.
Burns, Oates, & Washburn, Ltd. 1918