ALMIGHTY GOD, DO YOU WANT TO TAKE THIS CHILD?
425Ignatius once asked himself in prayer
what would most cause his heart to shudder
if God were suddenly to desire of him
the ultimate and greatest proof of his love.
426He could quickly answer Eternal Wisdom:
More than life and very self
he loved the Order to which he had dedicated his strength
and for which he would gladly give his life.
427“If God,” he said, “were to demand it of me,
if he were to let this new flock be destroyed
which I have founded at his wish
and for which I loudly praise his goodness,
428my heart would struggle restlessly
for a quarter of an hour
after receiving the news of its death...
Then God would be Lord of this disquiet, too.”
429Is not the small and noble family kingdom,
which strives to resemble the Blessed Trinity,
inscribed deeply into my heart, too,
far more than anything else a person can love?
430Neither mother nor father
with all their noble parental love
could cherish their dearest child
as deeply as I love this family chosen by God.
431For its sake I would gladly give up my good name,
life and limb, health, strength and talents
if it would better serve the family’s interests
and gain for it the crown of God’s love and fruitfulness.
432For its every custom, even the smallest things,
I want to sing a jubilant song of praise and thanks.
I relinquish nothing, absolutely nothing of all these things
and offer my life’s strength and toil for it all.
433Almighty God, do you want to take this child from me?
Will it please you to paralyze its strength?
Is it meant to be disfigured in your sight,
retaining but a pale glimmer of life?
434Out of love you gave me this child,
and gave me the strength to dedicate my entire life to it.
Do you want to see it dead in my arms?
Should it go through life a cripple?
435Then I ask you: Carry out your plans,
for to you alone goes out my deepest longing.
I only seek you, Father, and your will,
am happy when you fulfill your wishes.
436Accept the child which you endowed with life
and to whom you let me give the entire strength of my love.
I joyfully place it back into your hands,
its future destiny and its happiness in life.
437But if in the fullness of your mercy
you want to return it to me and the world,
allowing me to further embrace it with my love,
if as a ransom you only want to see my plea, my childlike and heroic trust,
438then I will hate all half-heartedness and laziness
and never disgracefully cease by either day or night
to pray and beg with unfailing confidence:
Let your child soon see miracles!
439May its life become a faithful reflection
of our Mother’s life here on earth,
so that through it the splendor of her rays
may be revealed to our ailing times.
440I will not stop imploring full of trust
that your plans be fulfilled;
you may put my faith and my trust to the test—
I will believe in our mission heroically.
441And if I myself may not see
the prospering of your child in your presence,
then I, like Moses, will remain on the mountain...
Only grant this child the happiness of the holy land!
442May our Mother implore for us such earnestness;
then we will be able to pass through every storm victoriously.
She will see to it that the Father
will return the child to us in fatherly kindness.
443But we must first present the child to him without reserve
and completely direct all our love to him alone.
With great love and kindness he will then return the child to us,
even if at the last moment, as he did Isaac.
444He will make of it a great sign of his promise
and himself become the child’s generous guardian.
He will make it grow and prosper like the sand on the shore
to the glory, praise and honor of the Trinity.
445He will bless it with many holy children
who loyally proclaim the praises of our Mother.
He will let it become the salt and light of the earth
which strengthens, warms and brightens the Church and world.
446He will let it stride with courage and holy liberty
through depersonalized and turbulent times,
using it everywhere as a noble herald
of true freedom joyfully dedicated to God.
447I will gladly bear forever the somber chains of slavery
if it stands as ransom for the family’s freedom...