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Saints' Discussion Forums  |  Forums  |  Book Study  |  Topic: The Life and Revelations of St. Margaret of Cortona - Chapter 1 - Excerpt 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: The Life and Revelations of St. Margaret of Cortona - Chapter 1 - Excerpt  (Read 12448 times)
Shin
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« on: July 15, 2010, 07:53:01 PM »

It was after the close of the year of our Lord 1277 that the holy Margaret, pure in spirit and fervent of heart, went in tears, with suppliant hands, to throw herself at the feet of Friar Renauld, guardian of Arezzo, and to offer herself, body and soul, to the order of the blessed Francis. By pressing entreaties she obtained the habit of the Third Order of the glorious Patriarch.

One day, as she was praying before a picture of Christ crucified, which is honoured even to this day in the Church of the Friars-Minors, she heard a voice cry out to her, "What do you want, my child?" Enlightened by the Holy Spirit she answered, " I seek nothing, I wish for nothing but you, my Lord Jesus Christ."

On another occasion, while she was at prayer, she heard our Lord make mention of the different stages of her vocation from its first beginning:

"My child," He said to her, "think on the manifold graces and lights with which I have endowed thy soul, in order to turn thee to Me. Think of how, on the death of the enemy of your salvation, overcome with sorrow, with downcast looks, bathed in tears, and clothed in black, you came in confusion to Laviano, to your father's house. Think of how, at the instigation of your stepmother, he altogether forgot fatherly compassion, and drove you from the house.

Deprived of human advice and aid you knew not what to do; you withdrew into the garden, and sat beneath a fig-tree, and wept. You turned towards Me, beseeching Me to be your master, your father, your spouse, your Lord; and you humbly deplored your spiritual and corporal misery.

But at the same time, the old serpent, seeing you driven forth by your father, to his shame and for your destruction, seized this opportunity to make you vain of your beauty and your youth. He suggested to you that, abandoned by fortune, you had every excuse for giving yourself up to sin: that, wherever you chose to go and live, you would find rich and voluptuous masters to love you for the sake of your exterior loveliness.

But I, the Maker of your inward beauty, which you had deformed and which I wished to renew, I bore Myself towards you with a true love. By My inspirations and My light I touched your conscience. I urged you to set out immediately for Cortona, and there to submit to the obedience of My Friars-Minors.

You were filled with strength, and you set out on your journey. In obedience to My commands, you presented and offered yourself to My Friars; and with great zeal and courage you brought your soul under subjection to their rules and instructions.

Think of how, at the very outset of this career of salvation, you found balm for your heart, in the respectful, filial fear with which I filled your soul towards the religious to whose care I confided you.

This fear vanquished the invisible enemy, who had the hardihood to present himself to you in the hour of your affliction. Did you not tremble from head to foot, were not your cheeks suffused with blushes, when a friar of the Order of our ever-blessed Father appeared in the Church, in the house, or in the street? You dared not sit down or speak in their presence.

Think of how I moulded your soul; how, from that moment, I inspired you with a supreme contempt of worldly ornament, and drew you, little by little, for My love's sake, to a most lawful position in relation to your fellow-creatures.

Think of how your body, accustomed to delicacies, was reduced, by My grace, to an abstinence not merely from the most savoury morsels, but even from the most ordinary meat. Think of how, strengthened by this same grace, you mortified yourself by constant fasts; you rejected soft garments; for rest you joyfully chose the hardest beds, at one time a bundle of twigs, or the hard boards; at another time the bare earth, with a stone or a piece of wood for a pillow.

Think of the liberality with which I vouchsafed to grant you the precious gift of holy fear, of sorrow and constant tears. Plunged in an ocean of sadness, you used to ask the Friars-Minors with whom I placed you, and even the seculars themselves, if I would not recall you from the unhappy exile into which you were drawn by sin; if I would not one day show My mercy towards you; if I would not summon you home.

The groanings of your sorrow and your deep-drawn sighs used to make them weep with you. Do not forget how indulgent I showed myself towards you, and with what marvellous goodness I changed into joy the bitterness of your tears at a time when, full of sorrow, you used to weep copiously while meditating on the mystery of my incarnation in the womb of my Virgin-mother, and on the sublime privileges of that Virgin-mother, and while celebrating the solemn festivals of the Saints.

This was the beginning of your conversion, on the death of your seducer, who kept you for nine years against your will in the snares which he had made to entrap your purity and honour. My poor child, think of your journey during the night in the midst of the waters, where the old enemy would have wished to see you perish. And yet you renewed the torments of My passion.

But I do not forget My paternal clemency; I guarded and saved you from the danger into which you ran. Think, too, of how, when the world still pleased you, and while yet you lived in the shadows of sin, I, the infallible Master, became your teacher; I endowed you from that moment with a motherly compassion for the poor and the afflicted; I inspired you with such a taste for retreat and solitude that, inflamed with devotion, you used to exclaim in certain places, 'Oh! how sweet to abandon oneself here to prayer! How fervently one could here sing the praises of God! In what peace and safety one could here undertake the work of salutary penance.'

Think of the time when you were still in darkness, how, finding yourself alone in the house or in a room, you would feel yourself illuminated by a ray of My grace, and you would deplore your evil doings, and if at that time a nobleman or any person either from town or country, were to accost you, you would say to him that, knowing your criminal life, persons ought not only refuse to salute you, but even carefully watch themselves from addressing to you a single word. Think of the time when I withdrew you from your unhappy state, and by a special favour secured for you the protection and company of two noble and pious ladies, Marinaria and Raneira.

Think of how, after devoting your time to the preservation and increase of the beauty of your figure by means that gave Me offence, you began to despise and hate it, and sought only to obliterate its last traces by abstinence, by smearing yourself with soot, by scraping yourself with sharp stones, and by causing your blood to flow from voluntary scourges.

In fine, think of how the fire of My love transformed thee unto Me, and the better to approach Me, by a complete separation from the world, thou didst often ask, with tears and moving prayers, the habit of penance from the guardian of the Friars-Minors of Cortona."

But why did the Friars delay to give to Margaret this habit of the Third Order ? Because they doubted her constancy, and also because they thought her too attractive and too young. In time they saw that she was inseparably united to Jesus; they remarked that she advanced more and more in fervour, and they heard her frequently entreat them thus : " Fathers, you to whom I have been sent by our Lord, O do not doubt me ! If I had to spend my life in a desert, so much do I love God, and in such a manner does the Ail-Powerful fortify me, that I would never yield to creature or temptation by my hope in the Lord, Whose grace has drawn me to Him. O Fathers, you have seen me flee the world, and live only with pious people; you have seen me reform iny life by the grace of Jesus Christ. Why are you yet afraid ? Why do you delay to clothe me in the garments of religion ?"

At length, touched by these words, the Friars gave Margaret the habit of the Third Order for the love of Him Who had already clothed her with His grace. As for her, with the change of outward garb, she sought every day more and more the inward adornment of her soul, as the pious reader will perceive who runs through the following chapters.
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
Shin
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2010, 08:07:56 PM »

Quote
"What do you want, my child?" Enlightened by the Holy Spirit she answered, " I seek nothing, I wish for nothing but you, my Lord Jesus Christ."

I think this is the answer we should strive to always have in our hearts and on our lips!



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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
Patricia
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2010, 10:58:35 PM »

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My child," He said to her, "think on the manifold graces and lights with which I have endowed thy soul, in order to turn thee to Me. Think of how, on the death of the enemy of your salvation, overcome with sorrow, with downcast looks, bathed in tears, and clothed in black, you came in confusion to Laviano, to your father's house. Think of how, at the instigation of your stepmother, he altogether forgot fatherly compassion, and drove you from the house.

Deprived of human advice and aid you knew not what to do; you withdrew into the garden, and sat beneath a fig-tree, and wept. You turned towards Me, beseeching Me to be your master, your father, your spouse, your Lord; and you humbly deplored your spiritual and corporal misery.

Sometimes God takes away all human consolation so that we may depend wholly on Him.
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'His mother saith to the servants: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.'
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mariafransisca11
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2011, 03:31:09 AM »

Hello, Shin,

Where can I get the ebook online?
I would very much be interested in reading this. I love great penitents like St Margaret of Cortona. Thanks for posting this.

Such a great treasure
 Smiley

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