MEMORIAL OF SAINT AGATHA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR
-from “Saint John of the Cross and the Divine Alchemy” by Father Billy Swan
When God’s love finds us, it is not content to encounter us and leave us outside itself. Like two lovers who meet and whose first reaction is to embrace, so the love of the Trinity opens out before us, embracing us and enfolding us within God’s very life. God loves the soul within God’s self. When we are embraced by God, we begin to change. A painful process begins whereby, in his light, we see more clearly our vices, imperfections, and sins. The fire of God’s love wounds us, burning away our ego and pride, slowly changing us to become more like God. Though painful, the process of divine alchemy whereby the love of God we encounter divests us of all that impedes our call to total self-giving, so that eventually our whole existence becomes fused with God’s life. This is what divine love does – changing our love to become more perfectly like God’s. O night that has united the Lover with his beloved, transforming the beloved in her Lover. By contemplating that love and allowing ourselves to be loved, our spirits are inflamed and woken up. As John of the Cross teaches: Contemplation is nothing but a hidden, peaceful, loving inflow of God, which, if not hampered, fires the soul in the spirit of love.