Govanni Gererecht - Certosinio and spiritual writer, was the first to translate the "Revelations of St. Gertrude" and one of the promoters of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Jean-Joseph Surin - Jesuit - gave particular emphasis to the mystical Ignatian spirituality. Among his works: "The spiritual catechism" and "The fundamentals of spiritual life" were widely spread in Europe.
John Gerecht (LANDSPERGER)True charity
Charity is a great thing, without which man cannot save himself, and instead provided it cannot be damned. Who owns charity owns everything, and those who lack not own anything. (...) Not even humility can be accepted and acceptable to God without charity. You cannot be patient, gentle, chaste without charity. In a word, no virtue is virtue without charity. Therefore charity is essential for everyone.
You need to understand what the true charity is, because not every type of love is charity. Men love as men, or because they are from the same country or born of the same blood, or because they are of the same nature and with the same ideas. From all these various relationships and circumstances are different qualities of love. Instead one is the reason by which charity is born: you must love God in God, you must love God for God, not for any other reason. Then we must love our neighbor. God, is therefore, the cause and the purpose for which we love our neighbor. Herein lays the true charity. This love must move our mouth to speak, our hands to work, and our feet to walk, in order to keep God's commandments. And if you do not love, you cannot fulfill the commandments of God as they should. The rule of this charity there is prescribed in these words: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul ...".
This is the purpose and goal of our perfection, beyond which you cannot go, but even that is given us to achieve in this life, because we always discover ourselves imperfect, we can always go to the next step in love. There is always free rein to practice more charity, because we are told that we must love with all our hearts. The God of love, who is infinitely worthy of all praise, "laudabilis nimis" (Ps 96: 4), invites us to observe his "nimis" precepts, that is, with great care, in order to make us understand that we are always missing, this is our duty, therefore always deplore our faults, and we always see new space to go. But God does not demand that we get in this life to the perfection of charity, in the degree predestined to us; we will not reach that in the next life. What we have to do is waiting to live and take constant desire and effort to progress and grow continually in divine charity.
(Sermones de tempore, Dominica XIII post
SS. Trinitatem, Sermo, Opera omnia, t. 1, p. 560)
What is charity?
It is the love of God who became ardent, takes the name of charity, and consists in the affection that the man of God, whose interests he considers above all else. No one could raise awareness of this love using other natural and dutiful love, for example the love of a woman for her husband, a son for his father, a father to his son. When man behaves towards God as a woman with her husband, a son with his father, being interested and have flocked how these people are wont to do, we can say that it really is love and charity.
How many species of this love are there?
It can divide it into three kinds: active love, suffering love and fruitful love.
What is the active love?
It is the concern, soul generated by love that she has for God, to do and perform all that she believes will promote his glory and to its satisfaction. These things relate to three types of action:
- Which concerns the worship of God and piety or devotion.
- The related to the love of neighbor and works of mercy.
- The others are still carried out with the mortification and the victories that man brings on himself.
The soul who is truly in love with God is diligent in these three things and proves to have a continuous concern to make relentless and restless all that honors God; brings relief to others and can make it more pure and more innocent. That's what makes the active love that usually is called fervor. St. Gregory says: "A great love is never idle. Makes great things, if it exists; but if he refuses to act, it is not love".
What is the suffering love?
It is what it is accompanied by pain, growing with them and perfected through them. It comes after the first, which we have already talked about, because when the soul has given witness to his love with good works, God, to make this love purer, more holy and more perfect, has to suffer and He puts in evidence, with what amounted to two suffering Species: external and internal. In this the soul can have three provisions. The first is the determination to suffer: the love that is in it nothing is as what led to the opposition, the pains and sorrows; because that makes it stronger and more ready to do what is right. This we know from what we have revealed to the saints. Saint Teresa exclaimed: "To suffer or die." St. Bernard said that you cannot live in love without suffering. St. Ignatius Martyr wanted the ferocious beasts with ardor. So, when love begins to inflame a heart, it longs to suffer like fire wants the wood to feed.
The second disposition of the soul is that, when reached by the suffering, although the nature of it is oppressed, has the spirit of a great joy. They are her feasts and, even more admirable, his desire grows with the experience of the hardships.
Give me the crosses, give me the hardships, comfort me with the suffering. The third disposition of the soul is to consider the cross as the bed on which he wants to die, as the inseparable companion of his life. It is a nest of cinnamon and other aromatic trees where the phoenix of love wants to die and be consumed, which means that the soul, for the ills that is suffering, hoping for a final rest, or even finds peace in those same hardships, because they keep the love in a continuing effort towards God and a rest that prepare the heart to a more perfect union with the heavenly bridegroom. So this same husband to reward his best friends, he gives them pain and suffering. That is why St. John of the Cross, having heard the word of the crucified Jesus telling him: "John, what do you ask me for what you have suffered?" He replied: "To suffer and be be despised for you, Lord".
What is fruitful love?
That's what gives the soul the possession of God. To understand this, we know that man does not come only in the next life to enjoy God, but as early as this, under the veil of faith, possesses God with love and joy. This is why many saints have likened the soul come to divine status to marriage: it is expressed in the Sermons on the Song of St. Bernard, St. Lawrence Justinian, Gerson and others; Santa Teresa herself, in "Settime Residence," says that the last state in which the soul arrives is the spiritual marriage. Because the order that God follows is that the soul, after which He worked and did many good works with love, after it was proven with the suffering, is led into a life of familiarity and love expressed by these words: "I sup with him and he with me." This exercise of love, to be understood, requires a great purity in souls who listen, because you cannot explain that using things that scandalize the weak and often, for carnal persons, are cause for ridicule; However, the pure souls, these things give way to progress wonderfully in love, and to those who aspire to this good, to admire God's goodness.