Today’s ✠Challoner Meditation: January 23rd On the happiness of serving God

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by
✠Challoner Meditation January 23rd

JANUARY 23RD

ON THE HAPPINESS OF SERVING GOD

Consider first, those words of the prophet, Isaias iii.10, ‘Say to the just man, it is well,’ and reflect on the many advantages which this short word well comprises, and ensures to the just both for time and eternity. Honours, riches, and pleasures, are the things on which the world sets the greatest value; but they are not to be found where the world seeks them, but only in the service of God. It is indeed a greater honour to be a servant of God, than to be the emperor of all the earth. What then must it be to be his friend and favourite, to be his spouse, to be his child, to be his temple? Can any worldly honours be compared with these? O how glorious a dignity it is to be heir apparent to a heavenly and eternal kingdom! O how happy, in the mean time, during our mortal pilgrimage, to walk and converse with God; to be as familiar as one pleases with this great King; to have an admittance into his closet whenever we will; to have an assurance from him of a favourable audience, and of obtaining all our requests. how truly honourable is it to have one’s name enrolled in the book of Life; one’s character established, not in the mean village of this world, (which nevertheless cannot help admiring and esteeming true virtue,) but in the great city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem. O my soul, let such honours as these be the only objects of thy ambition. 

Consider 2ndly, how rich the just man is; not always indeed in those worldly possessions, which every accident may take away, and which can never satisfy the heart; but in treasures infinitely more valuable, of virtue, grace, and merit, which all the money in the world is not sufficient to purchase, and which make the soul rich for eternity. But the servants of God have still a greater treasure than this, viz., God himself; whom the whole world cannot take from them, as long as they take care not to drive him away by wilful sin. ‘He is their protector; and their reward exceeding great.’ Gen xv. He is always with them; he is a tender father to them; the eye of his special providence is ever upon them; his Angels encamp about them, to defend them and deliver them from evil. In a word, God is all things to them that fear and love him; so that even as to the goods of the world he never forsakes those that do not first forsake him. O my soul, see thou seek no other treasure but him; he will make thee rich indeed: fear no loss but the losing of him. If thou hast him nothing can make thee miserable; but without him nothing can make thee happy.

Consider 3rdly, the solid pleasures that attend a virtuous life; such as the satisfaction, peace, and joy of a good conscience; the sense that holy souls have of God’s goodness and love for them; the experience they have of his sweetness, in their recollection and prayer; the consolations of the Holy Ghost, and the ravishing delights they often find in God, as a certain foretaste of the joys of heaven; the comfortable prospect of a happy eternity, after their short mortal pilgrimage; and above all, their love of God, and a blessed conformity to his will in all things, which sweeten even the greatest crosses. Such pleasures as these are far beyond all that worldlings can pretend to – pleasures pure and spiritual, which have supported, and even given an inexpressible joy to the martyrs, under the worst of their torments; which, for other saints, have sweetened all their labours and penitential austerities; and made them think whole nights too short, when spent with God in prayer. O! how great then is that error, how pernicious is that deceit, by which Satan persuades the children of this world, that there are no pleasures in a virtuous life; whereas indeed there is no true pleasure anywhere else.

Conclude, since the whole happiness, in time as well as eternity, depends entirely upon loving and serving God, to set out from this hour in quest of this happiness, by entering upon the beautiful path of virtue, which alone can bring thee to it.

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