The post below is copied from a great Catholic blog, A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics. I love St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi. A great book on her life and writings is at Lulu.com: The Life and Works of St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi. Lulu.com has other great books on Carmelite saints and on prayer by Carmelites.
“St. Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi on prayer and suffering for the good of others”
Some people look on the cloistered religious life as something strange, even selfish. How can they just “sit” inside those walls all day and “do nothing?!?” What “good” do they do? Shouldn’t they be out there in the world, helping people? If they want to love God so much, shouldn’t they open a soup kitchen or something?
If only the worldlings knew, cloistered religious, especially contemplative religious, do more to keep the world whole, stay God’s mighty Hand of Justice, and save souls than they can possibly imagine. Much of the good that others do is the result of the solemn lives of prayerful abnegation that cloistered religious, like Carthusians and Carmelites, live. Something for us to remember in a world grown hard and cold to faith:
O eternal Father, I offer You the Blood shed by Your Son with such deep love and ardent charity for the salvation of men.
O Jesus, I offer You the innumerable drops of Blood which You shed so freely at Your dreadful scrouging, and as You shed it for all Your members, so do I offer it to You for all the members, so do I offer it to You for all the members of Holy Church, whose Head You are. I offer It to You so that Your “Christs,” Your priests, may once again be the light of the world, that Your virgins may not be of the number of the foolish virgins, that infidels may return to your fold and that all souls may be saved.
O eternal Word, I want to speak to You as You did to us. In truth, I say to You that I would sacrifice a thousand lives, if I had them, to help save these souls. I do not want to depart from this life until You have enlightened some one of them. But I am not worthy to be heard. Hear not one who is so presumptuous, but answer You own Blood. You cannot fail Yourself; hear then, O Jesus, the voice of Your Blood.
O eternal Father, that love which moved You to create men, urges You also to infuse Your light into them. I well know
that You do infuse it, but they do not accept it. What is the reason for this? My ingratitude, I know, O my God, my ingratitude, but I have not plumbed its depths. Punish me for their offences; punish me for their sins. Oh! how wretched I am to be the cause of so much ingratitude and wickedness.
If I could, I would take all men and lead them to the bosom of Your Holy Church, so that she could cleanse them of all their infidelities, regenerate them like a mother, and then nourish them with the sweet milk of the holy Sacraments.