Spiritual Reading for Wednesday – Seventeenth Week After Pentecost

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Spiritual Reading

CONFORMITY TO THE HOLY WILL OF GOD

II. MAN’S SOLE HAPPINESS ON EARTH

He that reposes in the Divine will is like a man placed above the clouds: he sees the lightning, and hears the rolling of the thunder, and the raging of the tempest below, but he is not injured or disturbed. And how can he ever be disturbed when he always desires whatever happens? He that desires only what pleases God always obtains whatsoever he wishes, because all that happens to him, happens through the will of God. Salvian says that Christians who are resigned, if they be in a low condition of life, wish to be in that state; if they be poor they desire poverty; because they wish whatever God wills, and therefore they are always content. If cold, or heat, or rain, or wind come, he that is united to the will of God says: I wish for this cold, this heat, this rain, and this wind, because God wills them. If loss of property, persecution, sickness, or even death come upon him, he says: I wish for this loss, this persecution, this sickness; I even wish for death, when it comes, because God wills it. And how can a person who seeks to please God enjoy greater happiness than that which arises from cheerfully embracing the cross which God sends him, and from the conviction that, in embracing it, he pleases God in the highest degree? So great was the joy which St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi used to feel at the bare mention of the will of God, that she would fall into an ecstasy.

But how great the folly of those who resist the Divine will, and, instead of receiving tribulations with patience, get angry, and accuse God of treating them with injustice and cruelty! Perhaps they expect that in consequence of their opposition what God wills shall not happen. Who resisteth his will? (Rom. ix. 19). Miserable men! instead of lightening the cross which God sends them, they make it more heavy and painful. Who hath resisted him and hath peace? (Job ix. 4).

Let us be resigned to the Divine will, and we shall thus render our crosses light, and shall gain great treasures of merits for eternal life. In sending us tribulations, God intends to make us Saints. This is the will of God, your sanctification (1 Thess. iv. 3). He sends us crosses, not because He wishes evil to us, but because He desires our welfare, and because He knows that they are conducive to our salvation. All things work together unto good (Rom. viii. 28). Even the chastisements which come from the Lord are not for our destruction, but for our good and for the correction of our faults. Let us believe that these scourges of the Lord … have happened for our amendment, and not for our destruction (Judith viii. 27). God loves us so tenderly that He not only desires but is solicitous about our welfare. The Lord is careful for me, says David (Ps. xxxix. 18).

Let us, then, always throw ourselves into the arms of God Who so ardently desires and so anxiously watches over our eternal salvation. Casting all your care upon him; for he hath care of you (1 Pet. v. 7). He who, during life, casts himself into the arms of God, will lead a happy life and die a holy death. He who dies resigned to the Divine will, dies a Saint; but they who shall not have been united to the Divine will during life, will not conform to it at death, and will not be saved. The accomplishment of the Divine will should be the sole object of all our thoughts during the remainder of our days. To this end we should direct all our devotions, our Meditations, Communions, Visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and all our prayers. We should constantly beg of God to teach and help us to do His will. Teach me to do thy will (Ps. cxlii. 10). Let us, at the same time, offer ourselves to accept without reserve whatever God ordains, saying, with the Apostle: Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? (Acts. ix. 6). Lord, tell me what Thou dost wish me to do; I desire to do Thy will. And in all things, whether they be pleasing or painful, let us always have in our mouths that petition of the Our Father — Thy will be done. Let us frequently repeat it in the day with all the affection of our hearts. Happy we if we live and die saying: Thy will be done! — Fiat voluntas Tua!

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