Morning Meditation for Wednesday – Seventeenth Week after Pentecost ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Morning Meditation

CONFORMITY TO THE HOLY WILL OF GOD

I. ITS EXCELLENCE

Life in his good will (Ps xxix. 6). Our entire salvation and perfection consists in loving God. Have charity which is the bond of perfection, says the Apostle, but the perfection of Charity consists in conformity to the Divine Will.

I.

Our entire salvation and perfection consists in loving God. He that loveth not abideth in death (1 Jo. iii. 14). Above all these things have Charity which is the bond of perfection (Col. iii. 14). But the perfection of love consists in conformity to the Divine will; for, as St. Denis the Areopagite says, the principal effect of love is to unite the wills of those who love, so that they may have but one heart and one will. Hence our actions, our works of penance, our Communions and alms-deeds, please God only inasmuch as they are conformable to the Divine will; for, if they are not conformable to the will of God, they are not good works, but are defective, and deserving of chastisement. Our Saviour came down from Heaven principally to teach us by example to conform ourselves to the will of God. Behold what He said at His entrance into this world: Sacrifice and oblation thou wouldst not: but a body thou hast fitted to me … Then, said I: Behold, I come … that I should do thy will, O God (Heb. x. 5). O My Father, Thou hast refused the victims offered by men; Thou wishest that, by My death, I should sacrifice this Body which Thou hast given Me; behold Me ready to do Thy will. This Jesus frequently declared, saying that He came on earth only to do the will of His Father. I came down from Heaven, not to do my will, but the will of him that sent me (Jo. vi. 38). And by going to die through obedience to the will of His Father, Jesus wished to make known to us His great love for His Father. That the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father hath given me commandment, so do I. Arise; let us go hence (Jo. xiv. 31). Wherefore He has said that He acknowledges for His disciples only those who fulfil the Divine will. Whosoever shall do the will of my Father that is in Heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother (Matt. xii. 50). The accomplishment of the Divine will has been the only object and desire of the Saints in all their works. Blessed Henry Suso used to say: “I would rather be the vilest worm on earth in conformity to the will of God, than be a seraph by my own will.” And St. Teresa: “All he who practises prayer should seek is to conform his will to the Divine will; and let him be assured that in this consists the highest perfection. He who practises it best will receive the greatest gifts from God, and will make the greatest progress in spiritual life.” The Blessed in Heaven love God perfectly, because they are in all things conformed to the Divine will. Hence Jesus Christ has taught us to do the will of God on earth as the Saints do it in Heaven. Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. He who does the will of God, will, like King David, become a man according to God’s own heart. I have found a man according to my own heart, who shall do all my wills (Acts xiii. 22). And why? Because David was always prepared to do whatever God wished. My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready (Ps. cvii. 2). He asked nothing else from the Lord than to teach him to do God’s will.

I love Thee, O infinite Goodness, and through the love which I bear Thee, I offer myself entirely to Thee. Dispose of me and of all I possess as Thou pleasest: I resign myself entirely to Thy holy will. Preserve me from the misfortune of doing anything against Thy holy will, and then treat me as Thou mayest wish. Eternal Father, hear me for the love of Jesus Christ. My Jesus, hear me through the merits of Thy Passion. Most Holy Mary, assist me; obtain for me the grace to fulfill the Divine will, in the accomplishment of which my salvation entirely consists: obtain this grace for me, and I ask nothing more.

II.

Oh! how great is the value of an act of perfect resignation to the will of God. It is sufficient to make a Saint! While St. Paul was persecuting the Church, Jesus appeared to him, enlightened, and converted him. The Saint only offered himself to do the Divine will. Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? (Acts ix. 6). And behold, Jesus Christ instantly declared him a vessel of election and Apostle of the Gentiles: This man is to me a vessel of election to carry my name before the Gentiles (Acts ix. 15). He who fasts, gives alms, or mortifies himself for God’s sake, gives a part of himself to God; but the man who gives his will to God gives himself entirely to God. All that God asks of us is our heart — that is, our will. My son, give me thy heart. In a word, the accomplishment of the Divine will must be the object of all our desires, of our devotions, meditations, Communions, etc. The object of all our prayers must be to obtain from God the grace to do His will. And for this purpose we must implore the intercession of our holy advocates, and particularly of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that they may procure for us light and strength to conform ourselves to the will of God in all things, but particularly in embracing what is opposed to self-love. The Blessed John of Avila used to say: “A single Blessed be God! in adversity is better than six thousand acts of thanksgiving in prosperity.”

Ah, my God, all the evils of my past life have arisen from a want of conformity to Thy will. O God of my soul, I detest and curse a thousand times the days and moments in which I have, in order to do my own will, contradicted Thy holy will. I now give my whole will to Thee. Accept it, O my Lord, and bind it so firmly to Thy love that it may never more be able to rebel against Thee.

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