"The splendor of nature at this season is most moving and instructive. See how everything is opening up and expanding, how everything is rejoicing in the beautiful light. The other day, on contemplating some superb pale pink peonies, it seemed to me that the Lord was showing them to me especially for you. I thought of how hundreds of flowers come forth every year; and when they are most beautiful they become more than flowers – and then you don't even see their leaves any more. I thought how very lovely it would be if souls would open up like flowers and yield themselves to the Divine Sun; if they would exercise all the gifts they have received, exultantly and royally; if they would open up, expanding into a final burst of praise before the Lord. Those poor peonies, they gave all their petals, gave them in splendid profusion – but now, it's all over. What if we were to transform everything into praise, giving all our days without counting, without wondering about what is going to happen and what we will do in every sort of unreal circumstances? If only we had that sense of the gift which makes it possible to live without all the endless computations motivated by vanity (which don't prevent anything anyway)! Don't you think that it is better to die because there is no longer anything in us which can be utilized for the Lord than to die like a dried bud that didn't want to open up?
"This is what we should expect from the Holy Ghost: that He should breathe into us an ardor of generosity without the possibility of stopping, and that we should finally be rid of this spirit of our own which is petty, rapacious and case-hardened. Let us consent to be like a bundle of grain which is placed under the altar and which will remain there as a witness to the magnificence of the Lord until nothing is left of it. Obviously these flowers would have lasted a little longer if they had been placed in water, but let's not feel sorry for them; let us, too, be able to give the Lord without holding back a little of our gift, without asking that the flowers destined for the altar be disposed of in this or that manner.
"Thus we will know joy, the ravishing fragrance with which the Holy Ghost perfumes those who let themselves be drawn by Him into truly living as 'offerings to the Lord.'"
~Mother Marie des Douleurs, Joy Out of Sorrow
Listen to me, my faithful children: open up your petals,
like roses planted near running waters;
Send up the sweet odor of incense,
break forth in blossoms like the lily.
Raise your voices in a chorus of praise;
bless the Lord for all his works!