A reading from the writings of Saint Henry de Osso y Cervello, priest, 1840-1896; feast: 27 January(A Month in the Heart of Jesus, Prologue, EEOO III, Rome, 1977, pp. 456-458)
This is our main endeavor: to think, to feel to love as Christ Jesus, to act and to speak as He — in a word, to conform our whole life to Christ’s. No one can be saved unless they are formed in the image of Christ. To conform our life to Christ’s, we need, above all, to study His life, know it, and meditate upon it, not only in its outward appearance, but by immersing ourselves in the thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams of Jesus Christ so as to do everything in union with Him. In His goodness, Jesus Himself invites us, both in word and in action, to do this. For example, if we do not know the sentiments of His heart so as to put them into practice, how can we learn from His gentleness and humility? Or how can we come into His presence each time we act in order to imitate Him? Christ lived, ate, slept, spoke, kept silent, walked, worked, sweat, got tired, rested, was hungry, thirsty and poor; in a word, He suffered and died for us and for our salvation.
Why is it, then, that we cannot make or imagine Jesus as real and down to earth, but only in theory and as the ideal, which is the reason we do not love and imitate Him in everything, as we must? Jesus is our brother, flesh of our flesh, blood of our blood, bone of our bones. This is who our Jesus is, true God and true Man, alive, personal, and intimate. He let Himself be seen; He lived and spoke with us. For our salvation, being the eternal Word of God, He descended from heaven, became flesh, suffered, died, rose, ascended into heaven, and remained among us until the end of time to be our companion, our consolation, and our food in the Blessed Sacrament.
Eternal life, then, our only happiness in time and eternity, consists in knowing Jesus more intimately. How happy will be the person who learns this lesson and lives it daily. What an inspiring thought! I will live, sleep, speak, listen, work, suffer — I will do everything, I will suffer everything in union with Jesus, with the same divine intention and sentiments that Jesus had and with which He suffered, which is what Jesus wants of me.
Whoever does this — and all of us are called to do it — will live in this life the life of the world to come and will be transformed into Jesus, able to say with St. Paul: “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me.”
PHOTO SOURCE: Imago Mundi