The Consecrated Life

We would like to publish some homilies that Fr. Buela has written about the consecrated life. These homilies have been written especially for the Servidoras. We pray that these reflections only draws one closer to God.

Institute of the Incarnate Word

Institute of the Incarnate Word
Priestly Ordinations - Institute of the Incarnate Word

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Mary Magdalene in St. Baume - St Magdalene lives and dies of love

Beginning of the homily

The train of thought of this discourse has lead us oh Magdalene to your desert but it cannot lead and elevate us to the knowledge of your love. This is a secret reserved to your guardian angel and to no man. Blessed angel for having assisted such a soul and such love. It is a secret that heaven will reveal to us and that the earth must ignore. Waiting for the lights of heaven that will one day unveil this secret, we have to be content with saying that you live in a desert but which is a desert happier and more delicious than the paradise of the first Adam. In it you live an angelic life in a human spirit; you have a heavenly life on earth, a seraphic life in a mortal body. In it you live and die of love.

In it you live and die only of love and of a celestial love. In it Jesus is your end, your love, your life. In it you honor and participate of those thirty years with your thirty years, in His hidden life with your hidden life, in His exile with your exile, in His privations with your privations, in His cross with your interior and divine crosses, in His glory with your dejection in the hope of participating in His glory and in His joy. In Him you live (am I permitted to think and say this?). You live on earth of the life of Jesus, like the saints live in heaven of the life of God. In Him you have the imprint and work of His heart in your heart, of his spirit in your spirit, of His life in your life. Like the sun impresses its clarity, its splendor, its vivid and illuminating light in a polished crystal, likewise Jesus, Son of glory and of justice imprints in you His life, His light, His spirit. And you are no more than a pure capacity of Him, full of Him, and filled with His grace, His love, and His glory.

But this Son is in heaven and you continue on earth. Your love cannot support this separation. This situation creates a new class of life, of love, of the cross in your life. It is necessary to live and live so many years in this separation. And it is necessary that you live dying and suffering since Jesus is in heaven and you are in this desert. Oh dwellings! Oh states so distinct! His is in heaven and you are on earth. He is rejoicing and you are suffering. He is in possession and you are in want. He is at the right hand of the Father and you are at the right hand of the cross. He is in a state in conformity with the grandeur of His Person and you are in a state in conformity with the grandeur of your love. But a love that separates, a love that deprives, a love that consumes the spirit and body in a living dejection, a dejection that makes you live and die at the same time. Jesus is the love and the delight of heaven and of earth. He is your love. Oh Magdalene and He separates Himself from you and makes you feel the bitterness of this separation. He makes you feel it in proportion to the love you have for Him. And in this way, you live for His love since His love is life, and you die for His love since this love separates you from Him who is your love and your life. Oh life! Oh cross! Oh dejection! Oh love! 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Mary Magdalene in St. Baume - The Spirit with which Magdalene enters in her desert

Beginning of the homily

This is the desert of Magdalene. She enters into it as a homage to Jesus and to the hidden life of Jesus. She enters by a divine command that wants to draw her to that place to speak to her heart. She enters there guided by an instinct of marvelous love that draws and guides her more than an instinct of penance. Permit me to say without diminishing the honor due to such virtue that this happy penance is only love. In such a way has love strongly taken possession of her that all she has and all she is nothing else than love!

Her penance is love. Her exile is love. Her cross is love. Her melancholy is love. And her death is love. I see only love and Jesus in her desert. She lives and she lives hidden in Jesus, in the hidden life of Jesus, in the secret trials of the love of Jesus.

Oh desert! Oh Magdalene! Oh mountain more valuable for the Magdalene than the other in which St Peter said to Jesus “Let us build three tents here, one for you, another for Moses, and another for Elijah (Mt 17:4). For also in this withdrawn and elevated mountain to which Jesus draws and guides Magdalene to, I likewise see three tents. But the three are for Jesus and not for any other. The three are not constructed by the hand of man but by the Spirit of God. The three serve as a retreat for Magdalene. Holy retreat and holy tents in which she dwelt for such a long time, in which she lives and hides herself, in which she passes unknown to all except to her love. We can say that the first tent is personally Jesus himself since it is His life and His dwelling. She dwells in Him much more than her soul dwells in its body and more than her body dwells in the desert. The second is Jesus in His state of hidden and unknown life since she is also hidden, withdrawn into this state. She adheres to this life and participates in it, in a divine and precious way. The third is also Jesus since Jesus is the dwelling and retreat of this soul and it lives in Him according to the different conditions and states that He possesses and He has deigned to communicate to her.

Thus, the third tent of Magdalen in this holy mountain is Jesus in the grandeur of her spirit and her love since the spirit and the love of Jesus are something absolutely exceptional in heaven as well as on the earth. They constitute an order and a sacred name which is above every other name (according to St. Paul) be it in this age or in the age to come. In this holy tabernacle, Jesus wants to try this soul in the most secret trials of love. And she incessantly supports the sublime operations of the Spirit of Jesus that wills to work marvels worthy of Himself in a soul so pure, so holy, so sublime, so separated from everything and so united to Him. Happy he who knows this soul and penetrates in its thoughts. Happy he who participates of its secrets and even happier than if he participated of all the greatest and wisest secrets of the universe. Happy he who has had access to these three tabernacles and is willing to penetrate deeply into this desert in this spirit and this sanctuary. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mary Magdalene in St. Baume - For what reason does Jesus take her there for thirty years?

  1. For what reason does Jesus take her there for thirty years?

But why Lord this time of thirty years? Why such a long exile for a love so great? When I behold the Magdalene I see no other than Jesus living in her and her living in Jesus. Thus, I have to search in Jesus and not outside of Him, for the cause of such a long time. This makes me think and say (I believe with His guide and blessing) that those thirty years that Magdalene spent on earth, unknown to the earth are dedicated to honor and to participate in spirit in the thirty years of the hidden life of Jesus…

She will participate interiorly and spiritually of these thirty years of the life of the Son of God when He lived more in heaven than on earth, when he lived more before the presence of the angels that adored Him than before the presence of the men who did not merit to know Him.

In conforming Magdalene with Him in His life on earth, He wants the years of Magdalene to coincide with the years of his passive humanity. He wants her to remain on earth in grace and in love, a precious and divine love, as many years as He was present on earth carrying out His life divinely human and humanly divine. Just as in this life He has endured an exile and privation of so many acts and states that were due to His greatness and glory, He wills that His state of so long a duration, a state of privation so admirable in a divine person be honored and accompanied by a state of exile and privation that should be endured by a soul so precious and eminent in its love, so united to Him in favors and privileges and yet so separated from Him due to so great a love.  In this way, she honors and accompanies the hidden life of Jesus, unknown and deprived of the dignity due to His person with a life unknown and deprived of the joy due to His love. That is why Jesus takes her to a place withdrawn from all human communication and guides her to the most profound solitude.

(Part 3...)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mary Magdalene in St. Baume - Why does Magdalene go there?

Tradition recounts that St. Mary Magdalene, after her conversion and the Ascension of Our Lord into Heaven, withdrew for thirty years to a grotto in a mountain, St. Baume that is close to Marsella, France where many of us have gone on pilgrimage. We brought as a souvenir a medium sized rock from there that is currently integrated in the altar of the chapel of St. Mary Magdalene of the Contemplative Monastery “St. Teresa of the Andes” of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgen of Matará in San Rafael. Blessed rock! Witness of the thirty years of Heaven on earth of Mary of Magdala!

I suppose that this sermon will make us know and love the saint more, imitate better her examples of virtues, and understand better what religious life is, especially religious contemplative life.

We freely follow the “Elevation” of Cardenal Pierre de Berulle11

  1. Why does Magdalene go there?

Because “Magdalene is on earth and Jesus is in heaven. Magdalene abandons Judea because her Savior is not there. Magdalene does not want to live on the earth because she does not see Jesus. Magdalene cannot go to heaven where He is because her body impedes it. This is her state; she lives, she dies suspended between heaven and earth, separated from the earth by her love, separated from heaven by her powerlessness. But if her body is on the earth, her spirit, her love, her life is in heaven and only in heaven. If the condition of her nature has her chained to her body and to the earth, the eminence of grace elevates her above the earth, above herself, and above the heavens to unite her with Jesus. And if her powerlessness detains her, she draws strength from her weakness and that powerlessness serves only so that her love becomes more powerful to love and to elevate her to the sublimity and the primacy of the love Jesus prepares and reserves for her in heaven.

Her spirit takes her life, strength, and love in Jesus; her body like a new phoenix is consumed day by day in flames of a powerful love divine and heavenly…For this love makes one live in death and die in life and instead of separating and not uniting as death does, or unite and not separate as life does, this love unites and separates at the same time which exceeds all admiration. It unites by separating and it does so for thirty years with Magdalene, uniting her to Jesus and separating her from Jesus for such a long time.

(Part 2...)

1 PIERRE DE BÉRULLE, Discursos y Elevaciones, BAC, Madrid 2003, 234-242.