Evening Meditations for the Fourth Monday After Pentecost~ St Alphonsus Liguori

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Evening Meditation




If we were conformed to the Divine will in every trouble, we would undoubtedly become saints, and be the happiest of mankind. This, then, should form the chief object of our attention, to keep our will in unbroken union with the will of God in every occurrence of life, be it pleasant or unpleasant. It is the admonition of the Holy Spirit: Winnow not with every wind-(Ecclus. v. 11). Some people resemble the weathercock, which turns about with every wind that blows. If the wind is fair and favourable to their desires, they are all gladness and condescension; but if there blow a contrary wind, and things fall out againt their desires, they are all sadness and impatience; this is why they never become saints; and this is why their life is unhappy, for in the present life adversity will always befall us in a greater measure than prosperity. St. Dorotheus said that to receive from the hands of God whatever happens is a great means to keep ourselves in continual peace and tranquillity of soul. And the Saint relates that on this account the Ancient Fathers of the Desert were never seen angry or melancholy, for they accepted whatever happened to them joyfully, as coming from the hands of God. Oh, happy the man who lives wholly united and abandoned to the Divine will! He is neither puffed up by success nor depressed by reverses; for he well knows that all alike comes from the self-same hand of God. The will of God is the single rule of his own will; thus he only does what God wishes him to do, and he only desires what God does. He is not anxious to do many things, but to accomplish with perfection what he knows to be acceptable to God. Accordingly, he prefers the minutest obligations of his state of life to the most glorious and important actions, well aware that in the latter self-love may find a great share, whereas in the former there is certainly the will of God.


Thus we, too, shall be happy when we receive from God all the dispositions of His Providence in the spirit of perfect conformity to His Divine will, utterly regardless whether or not they coincide with our private inclinations. The saintly Mother de Chantal said: “When shall we come to relish the Divine will in every event that happens, without paying attention to anything else but the good pleasure of God, from Whom it is certain that prosperity and adversity proceed alike from motives of love and for our best interests? When shall we resign ourselves unreservedly into the arms of our most loving heavenly Father, entrusting to Him the care of our persons and our affairs, and reserving nothing for ourselves but the sole desire of pleasing God?” The friends of St. Vincent de Paul said of him while he was still on earth: “Vincent is always Vincent.” By which they meant to say that the Saint was ever to be seen with the same smiling face, whether in prosperity or in adversity. He was always himself, because, as he lived in total abandonment of himself to God, he feared nothing and desired nothing but what was pleasing to God. St. Teresa said: “By this holy abandonment that admirable liberty of spirit is generated which those who are perfect possess, wherein they find all the happiness in this life which they can possibly desire; inasmuch as, fearful of nothing, and desirous or wanting for nothing in the things of this world, they possess all.”

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