Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Praying with Frederic Ozanam
from Meditation 6 of Praying with Frederic Ozanam, by Ronald Ramson, published by St Mary’s Press, 1998 [Companions for the Journey series]
Six years before he himself was wed, Frederic wrote to a dear friend, a confrere in the Society of St Vincent de Paul, about the man’s coming marriage:
‘The great action you are contemplating at present will only to redouble your zeal and your strength. "When two or three are gathered together in my name," says the Saviour, "there am I in the midst of them." It is in that divine name that you will prepare to unite yourself to a wise and pious wife: the promise will be accomplished in you both. In giving your love to someone who will be justifiably dear, you will not withdraw it from the poor and miserable whom you loved first. Love possesses something of the divine nature, which gives itself without diminishing, which shares itself without division, which multiplies itself, which is present in many places at once, and whose intensity is increased in the measure that it gains in extension.
In your wife you will first love God, whose admirable and precious work she is, and then humanity, that race of Adam whose pure and loveable daughter she is. You will draw comfort from her tenderness on bad days, you will find courage in her example in perilous times, you will be her guardian angel, she will be yours. You will then no longer experience the weaknesses, discouragements and terrors which have seized upon you at certain times of your life: for you will no longer be alone. You will never be alone again, your virtue will be shared in legitimate hope, the alliance you are about to contract will be an immortal alliance: what God joins together, what He has insisted no man separate, He will not Himself separate, and in heaven he will invest with the same glory those who here below were companions in the same exile.’