Morning Meditation for Wednesday – Twenty-second Week after Pentecost ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Morning Meditation

THE HAPPINESS THAT COMES FROM CONFORMITY TO GOD’S WILL

He who is conformed in everything to the Divine will, enjoys perpetual peace even in this life. Whatsoever shall befall the just man, it shall not make him sad (Prov. xii. 21). At the mere word — the Will of God — St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi used to feel so much delight she would fall into an ecstasy of love.

I.

He who is conformed in everything to the Divine will, enjoys perpetual peace even in this world. Whatsoever shall befall the just man, it shall not make him sad (Prov. xii. 21). Yes, for a man cannot enjoy greater happiness than that which arises from the accomplishment of all his wishes. He who wills only what God wills, sees always his own will done; for whatever happens to him happens by the will of God. If such a soul, says Salvian, be humbled, it desires humiliations; if it be poor, it delights in poverty, wishing whatever happens, and thus it leads a happy life. Let cold, heat, wind, or rain come, and he that is united with the will of God, says: I wish for this cold, this heat, this wind, and this rain, because God wills them. If loss of property, persecution, or sickness befall, he says: I wish to be poor, to be persecuted, to be sick, because such is the will of God. He who reposes in the Divine will, and is resigned to whatever the Lord does, is like a man who stands above the clouds, and there, calm and secure, beholds the tempest raging below. This is the peace which, according to the Apostle, surpasseth all understanding (Phil. iv. 7), which exceeds all the delights of the world; a perpetual peace, subject to no vicissitudes. A holy man continueth in wisdom as the sun, but a fool is changed as the moon (Ecclus. xxvii. 12). Fools — that is, sinners — are changed like the moon, which increases today, grows less tomorrow. Today they laugh, tomorrow they weep; today all joy and meekness, tomorrow, all sadness and disturbed; in a word, they change with every wind. But the just man is like the sun, always the same, and uniformly tranquil whatever happens; for his peace rests on conformity to the Divine will. And on earth peace to men of good will (Luke ii. 14). At the mere words the Will of God, St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi used to feel such delight she would fall into an ecstasy of love. When the will is united with the will of God, crosses may produce some pain in the inferior part, but in the superior part peace will always reign. Your joy no man shall take from you (Job xvi. 22). But how great the folly of those who oppose the will of God! What God wishes will certainly happen; for who resisteth his will? (Rom. ix. 19). They, therefore, must bear the cross, but without fruit and without peace. Who hath resisted him, and hath had peace? (Job ix. 4).

And what else but our welfare does God will? This is the will of your God, your sanctification (1 Thess. iv. 3). He wishes to see us saints, that we may be at peace in this life, and happy in the next. Let us remember that the crosses which come to us from God work together unto good (Rom. viii. 28). Even chastisements are inflicted on us in this life, not for our destruction, but that we may amend, and gain eternal beatitude. 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 ardently, that He not only desires, but is solicitous for, the salvation of each of us. The Lord is careful for me (Ps. xxxix. 18). And what will He deny us after having given us His Son? He that spared not even his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how hath he not also with him given us all things (Rom. viii. 32).

O Jesus, my Redeemer, Thou hast sacrificed Thy life on the Cross in order to become the cause of my salvation; have mercy on me, then, and save me; do not permit a soul Thou hast redeemed with so many pains, and so much love, to hate Thee for eternity in hell. Thou canst do nothing more to oblige me to love Thee. This Thou gavest me to understand, when, before expiring on Calvary, Thou didst utter these loving words: It is consummated. But how have I repaid Thy love? In the past, I can truly say I have done all I could to displease Thee, and to oblige Thee to hate me. I thank Thee for having borne with me so patiently, and for now giving me time to repair my ingratitude, and to love Thee before I die. Yes, I wish to love Thee, and I wish to love Thee ardently, my Saviour, my God, my Love, and my All!

II.

Let us, then, abandon ourselves for good into the hands of that God Who is solicitous for our welfare as long as we remain in this world. Casting all your care upon him, for he hath care of you (1 Peter v. 7). Think of Me, said our Lord to St. Catharine of Sienna, and I will always think of you. Let us often say with the spouse in the Canticles: My beloved to me, and I to him (Cant. ii. 16). My Beloved thinks of my welfare, and I will think only of pleasing Him, and of uniting myself to His holy will. We ought, says the holy Abbot Nilus, to pray, not that God would do what we wish, but that we may do what He wishes.

He who always acts in this manner will lead a happy life, and die a happy death. He who dies with entire resignation to the Divine will, has a moral certainty of his salvation. But he who is not united with the Divine will during life, will not be united with it at death, and will not be saved. We should endeavour to make ourselves familiar with some sayings of the Scripture, by which we may always keep ourselves united with the will of God. Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? (Acts ix. 6). Lord, tell me what Thou wishest me to do; I am ready and willing to do it. Behold the handmaid of the Lord (Luke i. 38). Behold! My soul is Thy servant; command, and Thou shalt be obeyed. I am thine; save me (Ps. cxviii. 94). Save me, O Lord, and then do what Thou pleasest with me; save Thine own, O Lord, I am no longer mine. When any serious cross or adversity happens to us, let us say: Yea, Father, for so it hath seemed good in thy sight (Matt. xi. 26). My God, this has pleased Thee; let it be done. Above all, let the third petition of the Lord’s prayer be dear to us: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Let us repeat it several times and with fervour. Happy we, if we live and die saying: Thy will be done! Thy will be done!

O my God, I give Thee my whole will, my entire liberty and all that I possess. From this hour I sacrifice my life to Thee, accepting the death Thou wilt send me, along with all the pains and circumstances that will accompany it. From this moment I unite this sacrifice of mine to the great sacrifice of Thy life, which Thou, my Jesus didst offer for me on the Cross. I wish to die in order to do Thy will. Ah! through the merits of Thy Passion, give me grace to be in life, resigned to the arrangements of Thy Providence. And when death comes, grant that I may embrace, with an entire conformity Thy holy will. I wish to die, O my Jesus, in order to please Thee. I wish to die saying: Thy will be done. Mary, my Mother, it was thus thou didst die; ah! obtain for me the grace that I too may die in this manner.

Live, Jesus, our Love, and Mary, our hope!

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