TODAY'S BREATHING SPACE
Office of Readings
by Jacob Riyeff, author of The Saint Benedict Prayer Book
From the writings of Blessed Itala Mela
(First short retreat after the formulation of the Fifth Vow, June 11, 1933, on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, ms. 39, 54-56, Diocesan Historical Archive-Sarzana)
The Trinity living and working in us
One ought to make the worship of the Most Holy Trinity the center of one's spiritual life. And a return to "the source." I cannot say accurately what it is I see. I see the "unity" of the Trinity. And I am amazed both that I am able and have been able to live and pray without living and praying in this contemplation.
If I pray to Jesus, he is one with the Father and with the Holy Spirit: each of the three Persons is one in essence with the others. And even Mary and the saints cannot be considered separately from the glory and light of God, one and three. It is right, therefore, to make this august Triad the center of one's interior life. It is right, especially, to consider this in my soul: there is my heaven. God is with me and I am with him. I would say there is an objective intimacy that comes to me in itself from grace. It is up to me, however, to establish a subjective intimacy, so to speak, an intimacy that, realizing the heart of the gift of God, comes from love united with love.
My soul, therefore, must from now on become the center of my worship, of my prayer, the cell of union. There is the Creator and Lord, there the friend, the light, the comforter, the guide. If I am in doubt, I have only to ask him. If I fall, I have only to ask him for forgiveness. If I feel alone, I have only to ask him for company. If I am tempted, I have only to take refuge in him. If I am in danger, I have only to ask him to defend me. Immerse myself in the depths, stay with him, lose myself in him. This is what it means to make indwelling the foundation of my interior life: it means offering oneself to the Father with the Son.
Loving the Son with the Father means consuming oneself in love, in the blazing flames of the Holy Spirit. Above all, it means loving and loving God alone and all things in him, since God, who is in us, is love. The contemplation of the Trinity, who is not far from us but living and working in us, is a source of light, of holiness, and also of works that cannot fail. But the soul needs a great humility to raise its gaze to the august Triad. Perhaps we acquire this great humility by our very contact with God, which seeks not from its own presumption but from a particular vocation and obedience.
The Trinity is forgotten in too many souls: this is painful. And it is painful not only because the interior temple remains so abandoned and deserted, but also because souls remain deprived of that degree of union—that is, holiness—that they could otherwise attain.
This secret work, therefore, will have as its fruit not only the genuine conversion of souls, who will be pushed to flee grave sin so they do not profane the "temple of God," but also the increase of their holiness. With the grace of God, this prayer and sacrifice will be able to obtain intimate graces of union and therefore of light, strength, and immolation for many souls who otherwise would remain lukewarm.
Responsory: Jn 14:23; Rev 3:20
R). Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him,* and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
V). Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
R). we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
O God, who in the life of Blessed Itala have taught us to receive your dwelling in our hearts, through her intercession and by following her example, confirm in us the gifts of your Spirit so that, faithful to our Christian vocation, we might progress in the love of Christ, your Son. He who is God, living and reigning with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever.