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Chapter 60

Spiritual Maturity

 

Holy Spirit, Spirit of truth, You are
the Reward of the saints,
the Comforter of souls, Light in the darkness,
Riches to the poor, Treasure to lovers,
Food for the hungry,
Comfort to those who are wandering; to sum up,
You are the One in whom all treasures are contained.
—St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

 

 

The Apostles reached spiritual maturity on Pentecost Sunday.  St. Peter their leader and the other Apostles were ready to proclaim the Gospel to every creature under heaven now that their souls were full of the Holy Spirit.  The holy women, too, who were there in the Upper Room, found union with God in a true transformation.  They were ready, as well, to proclaim and promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ, if not to men, then to women, if not publicly, then privately, if not in words, then in deeds of charity.

The spiritually mature have great fortitude and courage to do what needs to be done, now that they have overcome their “besetting sin” or predominant fault through prayer, practice and God’s mercy.  They also possess true temperance, prudence and justice, the other cardinal virtues, in a high degree.  Through infused and acquired temperance they have only right and reasonable desires, their former passions and appetites, having been somewhat unruly, are now brought into peace and order.  Through acquired and infused prudence they know what to do and what not to do according to God’s will and wisdom and no longer waver in doubt or inconstancy, as a general rule.  As they follow this supernatural spiritual instinct, this divine wisdom or infused prudence, God sees to it that everything gets done perfectly and everyone gets their due in true justice and charity.  Even their “mistakes” have a supernatural purpose and meaning.  As the saints rejoice to “fill up (in their flesh) what is still lacking in the sufferings of Christ, for the sake of his body, which is the church,” so too, God is most glad to fill in or make right what is missing or messed up in their sacred service, for the sake of His justice and mercy. (Col. 1:24)  Whatever they do, God blesses.  This is a high and holy mystery, and yet, reality.

Ultimately though, Jesus and Mary, who never made a mistake, show us the fullness of spiritual perfection and maturity.  He is our Spiritual Father and, by God’s design and her willingness, she is our spiritual Mother.  “The Father and I are one. (John 10:30)  “Woman, behold, your son.(John 19:26)  Jesus redeemed us by His life and sacrifice.  Mary joined in with Him by her “fiat” and loving service. (Luke 1:38)  But especially by way of the tree of Calvary did Jesus and Mary both suffer and save us, each in their own way, Jesus as the Redeemer and Savior, Mary as the premier “co-redeemer,” insofar as God allows others to share in His work of redemption, sanctification and salvation.  The more we are united to the Lord spiritually, the more good God can do through us.  Where Adam and Eve, our first parents, failed by their prideful rebelliousness, Jesus and Mary overcame the evil one by their true love, meekness and humility, and will give to those who follow them sweet fruit “to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” (Rev. 2:7)

 

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