Part II - The Soul Desires to Save Souls

In the next part of the prayer, the soul considers itself now before the Divine Presence and begins to make a formal disclosure of the subject it has broached to solicit of God His sovereign attention.

"O God of my soul," it says, "an ardent and ineffable desire inspires me to serve Thee in order to glorify Thee."

It speaks here of an "ardent" and "ineffable" desire to serve God. It will not be speaking truthfully if it is not fully possessed of that ardent desire, which is interpreted as an unconditional disposition that He may occupy it in whatsoever He wishes.

When a person puts himself at the service of another, with a desire free of all self-consideration, and sincerely, without any objective other than to give him pleasure and to be useful to him, what will it matter to him or why would he question if his master occupies him in this or in that? This disposition implies that "ardent desire" of which the soul speaks here, that consumes it with zeal for His glory.

It would like to run down all the paths in order to recover all the interests of God in all the states of life: to be an apostle, to be a martyr, to be. . .more, "but what can so indigent a creature as I accomplish?"

Thus it concludes by recognizing its impotence, and thus comes to offer itself to God, so that He may use it in whatever He wants most, certain that thus the path will not be wrong, because God will fulfill in it all His designs. That is why it adds: "My heart is deeply pierced by the sad spectacle of the world. I grieve to see it so oppressed and heavily weighed down under the burden of temptations - temptations to which it yields only to become a victim of the devil. O Lord God, Thou Who searchest the hearts of all creatures, Thou knowest my ardent desire to assist my brethren."

The sentiments the soul expresses here are identical to those that made King David say: "A fainting hath taken hold of me; because of the wicked that forsake the Law." (Ps. CXVIII:53)

Behold the spirit of every victim soul faithfully depicted: zeal for the glory of God and compassion for souls. For the soul will not be truly a victim if it does not feel within itself the charity of Christ, Whose sentiments are affected by the wounds of sinful and fallen humanity. The victim soul is neither ashamed at, nor murmurs about, the miseries of the world, rather referring to sinners, it calls them "brethren" and accuses itself, like them, of being "miserable." Thus it says, "What can so indigent a creature as I accomplish?"

Here it seems that the soul grieves dejectedly for its impotence; but, behold, it has discovered the effective means of supplying for its own littleness, and lifting itself from its nothingness, animated by the generous impulse that inspires it to take to flight to unite itself with its powerful Master, which, according to the allegorical expression of the Psalmist, "sendest forth springs in the vales; between the midst of the hills the waters shall pass." (Ps. CIII:10) And similarly St. Paul says: "I can do all things in Him Who strengthens me." (Phil. IV:13) And, as though persuaded by that expression of the Psalmist, "Through God we shall do mightily," (Ps. LIX:14) the soul immediately says, "I know not what to do except to have recourse to the inexhaustible Fount of all Good, Who can do whatever He wills. Thou, O divine Jesus, art the Healing Fountain of Regeneration; Thou art the Source of Infinite Treasures of Love and Pardon which can never be exhausted."

Well then, on the soul's having recourse to Christ, calling Him the inexhaustible fountain of all good, it alludes not only to the power of God, but to His love. That is why it says that He is the source of those "treasures" of love and pardon, because by demanding pardon, by demanding mercy, it comes to serve Justice. It wants to obtain those treasures in exchange for offering itself to expiate for the sins of its brothers.

It asks first for pardon because it is persuaded that sin is the obstacle that hinders grace from falling on souls and enriching the virtues that must sanctify them. It knows that in Jesus is the "Fountain of Life." (Ps. XXXV:10) It knows that "the Lord is sweet and righteous: therefore He will give a law to sinners in the way." (Ps. XXIV:8)

That is why it has recourse to Him, to associate itself with what He can do, as much as He wants, and it wants Him to grant what it asks for its brothers. And thus, what it can't do, He will supply infinitely because, "the Lord hath heard the desire of the poor." (Ps. IX:17)

To oblige Christ more lovingly so that He will receive it with all the burden of its necessities, the soul says to Him, "I, therefore, have recourse to Thee, while reminding Thee of those consoling words which Thou didst utter: ?Come to Me, all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you.'" (Mt. XI:28)

Explanation: Part III