During the month of November, as we reflect on the lives of those who have gone before us – and often, that means revisiting our grief over their loss – we will present excerpts from the letters of John Eudes as he counseled and consoled those who faced these (and other) difficulties.
“I want to weep with Jesus, that I may honor his tears.”
Madame de Budos, John Eudes’ benefactor during the pestilence in Caen, also received spiritual direction from him for many years. In 1629, her dear brother Antoine-Hercule, was killed at war.
Father Eudes writes a long letter to her to help her at this time of trial. It is the oldest of the letters that have come down to us.
Only a few passages are given here. John Eudes drew it up with great care, even did a bit of
research for it, “in anticipation”, he writes in conclusion, “of speaking personally to you as soon as your time is less taken up with the many visits of condolence that you will receive”.
Much younger than she who is then forty-three years old, he does not hesitate to speak to her authoritatively. He urges her to see the hand of God in the painful event that has taken place. He shares her sorrow and invites her to live the moment in close union with Jesus.
May the grace, peace and consolation of Our Lord Jesus Christ and his most holy Mother be with you forever.
I must and wish to adore with you the most holy and lovable will of God in the affliction it has pleased him to send you. I must and wish to cherish and love his most just and lovable hand which has dealt your soul such a harsh blow and pierced your heart with so bloody a wound, since that Divine Hand does nothing save through love of Self and Its creatures that it seems to love even as Itself.
Nevertheless, I must confess that my soul is filled with sadness and my heart with anguish at the thought of your agony. I cannot think of you and the pitiful state in which I see you, without pain and tears and that, I believe, I am allowed.
I see Jesus, the joy of heaven and earth, giving way to profound grief and sighs at the sight of the tears of Martha and Magdalen bemoaning the death of their brother. Why, then, may I not be allowed to weep on a similar occasion? I want to weep with Jesus, that I may honor His tears. I want to “weep with those who weep,” in the words of St. Paul. (Romans 12:15) I wish to weep with the same emotions and sentiments as Jesus wept. I wish to offer Him a sacrifice of tears in homage to His divine and adorable tears.
Let us, Madam, offer Him our tears in honor of His. Let us implore Him to sanctify and bless them through his. Let us beseech him to unite them to His…
Madam, behold Jesus within your heart. He is there wishing to bear with you the harshness of your trial. But He neither can nor does he wish to bear it without you. Unite yourself, therefore, with Him that you may bear your sorrow with Him. Unite your spirit to His Spirit, your heart to His Heart and your will to His. Bear it in holy fashion as He bore it holily and divinely. Bear it as he did strongly and courageously…
So often you have protested to Him that you want only to love and honor Him. You will never be able to love Him more perfectly and honor Him in more holy fashion than at this moment. In this hour of affliction, you can offer Him more glory and love in a single moment than in several days during a time of consolation.
Do not deprive Him, then, of something so tremendous which you can and ought to give Him easily by submitting your will to His. It is true that this is not easy for human nature; but it
becomes easy with the help of the grace which is offered you…
I am writing you these words in anticipation of speaking personally to you as soon as your time is less taken up with the many visits of condolence that you will receive.
- Times of Grief (afreegift.us)
- Bearing Precious Seed (james1948.wordpress.com)
- Matins Gospel Reading Eighth Orthros Gospel The Gospel of John 20:11-18 (orthodoxlogos5.wordpress.com)
- My Old Friend, Written By: Titus S. McMillan, Ph.D. (healinginsideofme.wordpress.com)