Communion with the Lord: The only sublime end to every means

Divo Barsotti

My dear brothers, do we want to open ourselves to welcome the gift of God? In the context of the nonsense of this world, there is nothing that serves as a means to the end of reaching God on its own. The gift that God offers us is his love, in allowing the things of this world to have the power to draw our hearts to him. It is a means that God himself offers us to be able to live in communion with him. The highest achievable objective we should move toward, whether we are doctors, deputies of parliament or simple garbage collectors, is to live in communion with God. This is the true life of the Christian, this communion with him. Not even the pope can live a greater reality than what I live; nor can I live a lesser reality than any man down here on earth lives.

Communion with God! God who is my spouse, my brother, my friend! God who is my wealth, my joy, my life. This I must live. Profession has no power – power, I say, unless God is the ultimate reason and end. Marriage has no power either, because marriage is also a path that must lead us to this union with him, which will be eternal.

God called us by giving us this divine vocation. Do we hear it? Do we really live it? What St. Ignatius says in the meditation on the foundation at the beginning of The Spiritual Exercises remains true: everything that is temporal is only a means. Love of neighbor is not a means by itself, but that love of neighbor that is configured in one way rather than another can also be a means. Certainly also the nuptial love down here on earth is only a path that must then lead us to union with him, because in heaven “we are neither married nor will we be married.” The nuptial union with God is truly indissoluble and is the fullness of life. Therefore, marriage, too, is only a path that leads us to this purity of love, which is the nuptial union with the Word. For all of us, there is no other purpose; if there were another, we would be wretched, because if we see the end of life in union with another person, the other person could never fully satisfy all the desires of our heart.

This is why, despite marriage being a wonderful affair, of the two spouses, there is always one who dies first and the other who dies later, so marriage seems to prepare us for loneliness. But to solitude or rather to union with God? Have we not learned, through marriage, how to love, and then love the one who will never be taken away from us? No, my dear brothers, God is not at the service of anything, nor could he be, he who is the infinite. Everything, on the other hand, is related to this ineffable union which alone is our eternity.

We have been called – consecration  is a call.

Since we are poor and weak, he helps us down here with means that make our response possible. Many of us, without the help of marriage, would not know how to live continuous adherence to the Lord in our own solitude. Of course, we are weak, perhaps we need to live in the profession the sense of being useful for something. But when union with God is truly lived, this union has the character of an end, therefore it is free. What has a means to an end cannot have a purpose other than itself. Therefore the love of God is the full reason for our living as men, both here below and in eternity. God alone! These are words that apply to everyone, not just me, but also to you, because there is no essential difference. Every path has no other goal than God, every search can find no other possession than him. He alone can truly be the one in whom our soul rests and finds its full life, its eternal life.

(From “Che Dio vi parli,” Chorabooks 2016, translated by Aurelio Porfiri. Image: susan-lu4esm at