13 November 2009

Reverential Love begins with Contemplation

One must contemplate the greatness of God in order to understand and experience His love, to know the Lord, the supreme Master, in order to love the Father unchanging and deep, which become neither familiarity nor irreverence. The liveliest transports of love are born of these thoughts: this goodness so compassionate is that of the infinite Being; that love, that understanding, those exchanges of love, that life with God and in Him – He alone can give them. Without Him, we should possess nothing; without Him we should do nothing.

Praise does not exclude petition. God wants to be praised. He wants that, in the face of His greatness, the cry of the soul should be one of admiration. But He loves also that we should realize our weakness, and tell Him our needs. In the last resort, the greatest thing about Him is His goodness. He is the good God: the Being Who gives Himself, communicates Himself, pours out on others, and that in an unlimited degree, His treasures and His joy.

In begging Him for further favors, we thereby recognize those He has already given us. To appeal to His goodness is the way to the Divine Heart.

In order to be touched by the sufferings of others, we must first of all overcome our own self-love, and take our passions in hand.

The heart that shows mercy, which has pity for all frailty and the generosity to come to its aid, will experience a peace which does not change, a calm without cloud – almost, one might say, a participation in the divine unchangeableness.

The greatest joy, if it can come to an end, is not perfect joy. The fear of losing it is a perpetual menace, and casts thereon its shadow. The joy of the just knows not this shadow; its region is beyond all passing clouds, for its source is God, Who knows no change.

It is in God that the just live. Their abode is in the Divine Mind. They dwell there continuously. They see God as an infinitely loving Father in the depth of their soul. Their faith reveals that Presence and recalls to them that love. They believe that at every instant this Father is communicating to them His own Spirit, His own life. They turn away from all created things in order to welcome Him. They make every effort to turn to the Father, even as the Father is unceasingly turned towards them. They place their mind in God’s Mind, and in that union find a stability which is even now a foretaste of eternal life.

At these heights evil does not touch them. They are in God; they are in their supreme Good. Others may speak of them, think of them, do what they will with them: their soul dominates and despises these vain attacks of a world which no longer counts with them. They leave the creature – inviting him to come out of himself – for the Creator, Who bids them be still and dwell with Him in His Heart. That place where now they love to dwell is a place to which neither the world nor the devil has access. It is the abode of the Father, the innermost sanctuary where the Father gives Himself to those who seek Him alone. It is the sacred retreat, where the life of heaven already begins to take form here below.

Sacrifice and renunciation allow us to give ourselves to God. They sever the human and created ties which hold back the soul. They set the soul free and permit it to wing its way towards those high regions where we find peace.

~Dom Augustin Guillerand~