The Spiritual Combat

Chapter 58:

The offering

In order that the offering of yourself might be pleasing to God from every point of view, two things are necessary. One is to unite it with the offerings Christ made to the Father; the other is that your will be detached from any attachment to a creature.

As regards the first, you should know that the beloved Son of God, when he lived in this valley of tears, not only offered the heavenly Father himself and his works, but offered our own works with himself. Because of this, we must make our offerings in union with Christ’s offerings and with faith in them.

As regards the second, consider before offering yourself if your will has some attachment. Whatever it might be, you must remove every affection for it. In this manner will you run back to God, so that, as he detaches you with his right hand, you might offer yourself to his divine Majesty free and liberated from everything else.

Pay careful attention to this. If you offer yourself to God while remaining attached to creatures, you make not your own offering, but that of others. In fact you are not your own, but you belong to those creatures to whom your will is attached, and this displeases the Lord almost as much as if we wished to mock him. As a result, the many offerings we ourself make to God not only return to us empty and fruitless, but we then fall into various defects and sins.

We can offer ourselves to God despite our attachment to creatures, but only with the goal that his goodness free us of them, so that we might then give ourselves completely to his divine Majesty and to his service. We should do this often, and with great affection.

Thus, let your offering be without attachment and divested of your own will. Marvel not at earthly nor heavenly goods, but at the pure will and divine providence to which you ought to submit yourself, to which you ought to sacrifice a perpetual holocaust. Forgetful of every created thing, you should say, “Behold, my Lord and Creator, my complete self and my every desire. I hand them over to your will and to your divine providence. Make of me what you will and what you like: in life, in death, and after death, in time as in eternity.”

If you do this sincerely — you will become aware of this when misfortune befalls you — you will transform yourself from farmland into an evangelical and most blessed purchase (see Matthew 13⋅45). Indeed, you will be God’s, and God will be yours, just as he always belongs to them who, detaching themselves from creatures and from themselves, give and sacrifice themselves completely to his Divine Majesty.

Now you see, beloved daughter, a very powerful way to conquer all your enemies, for if the aforementioned offering unites you to God so that you become completely his and he completely yours, what enemy and what power can ever harm you? And when you want to offer him whatever work of yours, be it fasting, prayer, acts of forbearance and other good things, turn your mind first to the offering Christ made to the Father of his fasts, prayers, and other works. Trusting in the worth and virtue of his offerings, only then offer yours. And if you wish to offer the heavenly Father the works of Christ on account of your debts, you can do it in the following manner.

Make a general, yet deliberate, glance at your sins. Seeing clearly how impossible it is for you to please the wrath of God, nor to satisfy his divine justice, return to the life and passion of his beloved Son. Think of some work of his, for example when he fasted, prayed, suffered, or spilled his blood. In this you will see that, to please the Father and to pay the debt of your iniquity with his work, Jesus offered his own passion and his own blood saying something like this, “Behold, eternal Father, that by your will I more than satisfy your justice for the sins and debts of N. May it please your divine Majesty to pardon them and to receive her among the number of your elect.”

In this way you can offer the eternal Father, through yourself, this same offering and these same prayers, begging him to cancel every debt in virtue of these. You can do this not only while passing from one to another mystery, but even from one to another act of each mystery. Indeed, this manner of offering can serve not only for you, but also for others.
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