A meditation from Sr. Mary Fidelis on Von Hildebrand's TRANSFORMATION in CHRIST:
One of my favorite books to come back to again and again is Dietrich von Hildebrand's Transformation in Christ. Here is a sampling of the chapter titles: Contrition, True Simplicity, True Freedom, Holy Patience, Holy Mercy, True Surrender of Self. But the first chapter that must be read and ruminated before any of the others are undertaken is: THE READINESS TO CHANGE. This is the prerequisite necessary for any transformation.
Von Hildebrand states very confidently: "All true Christian life must begin with a deep yearning to become a 'new man' in Christ, and an inner readiness to 'put off the old man' - a readiness to become something fundamentally different." What a challenge! Sometimes when facing my own faults or character flaws, I work on changing this or that. Such work usually bears little lasting fruit, because it's still caught up in the self, it's not about letting our Lord accomplish His work of sanctification.
Yes, to allow my character as a whole to be transformed by Him...this is a challenge indeed. And this is what is meant by a READINESS TO CHANGE, a readiness for a fundamental change. TRANSFORMATION!
Think of this idea of TRANSFORMATION as a spotlight shining out from the Heart of Christ. It's His love that radiates this light. But we must allow the Light to rest upon us. The light can be startling, as it circles the globe searching for ready hearts. It can be scary to allow this light to rest on us because all of our flaws are exposed. Sometimes we may think: "Let me fix some of these flaws first, then I will bask in the light of God's love." Ah, but that's not how it works. It's never about US accomplishing - it's about us corresponding to the transforming love of Christ. It's about this LIGHT doing the work of TRANSFORMATION. It's about us simply bearing a READINESS TO CHANGE, a willingness to allow the light to rest upon us, a willingness to be fundamentally transformed!
Also the Pentecost Novena is in full swing! Let us beg for a share in all the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. VENI SANCTE SPIRITUS!!!
(below is my favorite translation of the Veni Sancte Spiritus - so good to meditate on as we prepare for Pentecost!)
Holy Spirit, Lord of light,
From Thy clear celestial height
Thy pure beaming radiance give.
Come, Thou Father of the poor,
Come with treasures which endure,
Come, Thou Light of all who live.
Thou, of all consolers, best,
Thou, the soul's delightsome Guest,
Dost refreshing peace bestow.
Thou in toil art comfort sweet,
Pleasant coolness in the heat,
Solace in the midst of woe.
Light immortal, Light Divine,
Visit Thou these hearts of thine,
And our inmost being fill.
If Thou take Thy grace away,
Nothing pure in man will stay;
All his good is turned to ill.
Heal our wounds; our strength renew;
On our dryness pour Thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away.
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
Thou, on those who evermore
Thee confess and Thee adore,
In Thy sevenfold gifts descend:
Give them comfort when they die,
Give them life with Thee on high;
Give them joys that never end.