Elizabeth Kindelmann was willing to “sell all” to achieve this Great Grace, and God is asking, literally begging us to do the same, since so few are willing to completely love Him by giving up all self-love and self-will. When Elizabeth consented, God moved in her soul as He will in our soul. Our Lord taught Elizabeth the key: “Have total confidence (a Virtue) in Me; this is the key to My Heart. Put aside your doubts. The Holy Spirit whom you invoke frequently will take possession of your soul through our Mother His favorite.”
Another Exemplar of this Great Grace is Venerable Concepcion Cabrera de Armida, a widow and mother of nine children! We have mentioned her before in a few posts. God again is showing us that normal people, who have many, many duties and daily problems like we have, can and do achieve great holiness by simply allowing God to have free reign in them… if they simply cooperate with this Grace and persevere in their desire and effort. God is demonstrating that this is His Plan for all of us no matter our state of life, our duties or our frailty. The more sin abounds, the greater are the Graces! (cf. Romans 5:20)
Concepcion was affectionately known as Conchita. Our Lord spoke to her over many years and all of her writings have been approved as part of her process toward Sainthood. Our Lord taught Conchita that our focus on the Virtues is a critical first step in the process of selling all for Him. He wants us to learn, know and desire the Virtues, as He can’t pour more Grace into us and have it be effective in the Transformation, unless we truly understand and act with all the Virtues and realize how they permeated the life of Christ. Most people can’t name more than a few of the virtues, so we all have some real work to do!
The three foundational or theological virtues are Faith, Hope and Charity….all other virtues precede from these three. The main virtues that flow from these and which we must acquire through begging God’s Grace and our cooperation by learning all we can about them are: Obedience, Abandonment to God’s Will, Humility, Purity of Intention, Confidence/Trust, Mortification, Detachment, Interior Recollection, Correspondence (to Grace), Perseverance, Right Judgment, Rendering Justice, Fortitude and Temperance. One of the best works on the Virtues is: “The 12 Steps to Holiness and Salvation” by St. Alphonsus Liguori, a great Doctor of the Church. Reading for 2-3 minutes a day from this book for the rest of our life would be an excellent step in the process of selling all as we beg for the Grace of Graces.
Now, the first fear Satan will raise is: it is too late….how can I possibly learn all about these Virtues at my age or in my current position. Do not fall for this trap of Satan! God will take you where you are, and ever so slowly will do the work for you through Grace, if you commit to your part of starting and persevering with effort and desire! The great Catholic teacher Dr. Peter Kreeft has this sage advice: “There is no easier way. You learn to do it by doing it. Repetition creates habits. So begin already! It begins in the mind and the will, with thinking and deciding…It has to be gradual. Every good choice makes the next one easier and more delightful…The (bad) appetites are like dogs….training takes a long time.” Take just one step to learn about the Virtues. One good place to start is to learn about the virtue which opposes your main vice. What is the vice or flaw which most concerns you…impatience, impurity, laziness? Ask God in prayer to confirm it. Start by learning all you can about the opposite virtue to the vice God shows you as your predominant fault!
Let us listen to our Lord Himself confirming this Truth to Conchita: “Therefore when the transformation into Jesus is accomplished in the soul, the Holy Spirit also comes to be the spirit of the creature, to a greater or lesser extent, according to the intensity and degree of the transformation, WHICH DEPENDS ON HOW THE SOUL CORRESPONDS TO THE VIRTUES.” (Emphasis added.)
Our Lord tells Conchita that when we begin to accomplish living with the Virtues (by begging for the Virtues constantly and doing our small part by desiring them and through the daily and continuous effort to practice the Virtues), “then the Holy Spirit absorbing the spirit of the creature being Transformed, fills the creature with that most pure Love which He Is!”
We then “love with the Holy Spirit”. We actually begin to love as God loves….because the “love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5)
Let us commit today to all the Virtues, right now, as we ponder that God wants to pour out this Great Gift of the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, this “Mystical Transformation” or “Mystical Incarnation”…this deification that our Church teaches us that we must strive to achieve…such that He will be living is us! Let us pray and commit that we will be among the few willing to sell all and give God this Love…His own Love! Fiat!