July 9, 2023

Dear St. Martin of Tours Family and Friends,

To deepen our love of Jesus, the most important thing we can do is to pray every day for the grace to fall in love with Jesus. However, there is one other practice we can do to hasten our union with Jesus and to keep him front and center of our lives: The instruction of St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians 2:5 to “let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.”

Just as the human soul has two primary powers, that of the intellect and the will, likewise to think like Jesus is to set up within our souls the disposition to love like Jesus. For a brief explanation of what this entails, allow me to quote from a sermon by Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson (1871 – 1914) was born to a prominent English family (his father was the Archbishop of Canterbury) and was a the most famous convert from the Anglican Church to Catholicism after St. John Henry Newman. He was clearly a genius. In addition to his pastoral responsibilities was a prolific writer of ghost stories; though his most famous work The Lord of the World remains in print and has been lauded by both Pope Francis and Pope Benedict. But Benson was also, as evidenced by his writings and the witness of many friends and congregants, a very holy man who understood through personal experience how the soul can advance toward union with God only by first falling in love with Him and becoming his dearest friend. I recommend his book The Friendship of Christ which is a collection of sermons he gave near the end of his short life. In the following passage in which he discusses the soul’s transition to an advanced spiritual state, he emphasizes the importance and the necessity of putting on the mind of Jesus Christ, and of making our minds conform to His:

Screen Shot 2023 07 08 At 9.28.38 PmIn a true friendship between two persons, the weaker of the two must always, little by little, become conformed not only to the habits of life, but to the habits of thought of the stronger. Little by little the process goes on until that state of mutual understanding is reached which we call “perfect sympathy.”

In the interior friendship with Christ this is essential. We must so dwell with Him, as His Apostle tells us, that at last, "bringing into captivity every understanding" (2 Cor 10:5) to His obedience, we lose, in a certain sense, our own identity. We lose our limited personal way of looking at things, our selfish schemes and ideas, and finally, since our “life is hid with Christ in God,” (Col 3:3) we no longer live; it is Christ that liveth in us. (Gal 2:20)

Robert Hugh Benson, The Friendship of Christ, Longman, Green and Co.: London, 1916, pp. 61-2.

To be a true friend of Christ, to fall in love with Him, we must desire with all our heart, mind, and strength (Deut 6:4) to become one with Him in every way. Let us conclude this Pastor’s Pen by printing once more that special prayer which will grant us the extraordinary grace to fall in love with Jesus — the Unity Prayer which Jesus dictated to visionary Elizabeth Kindelmann on May 4, 1962. (Note: This prayer is fully approved by the Catholic Church):

My adorable Jesus,
May our feet journey together.
May our hands gather in unity.
May our hearts beat in unison.
May our souls be in harmony.
May our thoughts be as one.
May our ears listen to the silence together.
May our glances profoundly penetrate each other.
May our lips pray together to gain mercy from the Eternal Father.


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