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Tag Archives: God’s will

EACH COMPLAINT TAKES AWAY FROM US A DEGREE OF HOLINESS

One of the characteristics of holiness is to be unexacting and uncomplaining.

Each complaint, even if it is just, makes us descend a degree from that height of virtue which we may have attained with such difficulty. To confide our troubles is not complaining; a complaint nearly always contains a somewhat of ill-humour and a slight feeling of revenge.

Content with everything given

The saints are unexacting. Content with everything given them, they easily deny themselves what is refused to them.

“I made a request for an object which I believed necessary,” said a holy person. “They either forgot or did not wish to answer me; why should I have been uneasy? If I absolutely needed it, God would readily have found means to grant it to me.”

Few people will understand the following words, yet they are the echo of what Jesus Christ has said: “Your Father in heaven knoweth what is needful for you even before you ask it.”

Your Father in heaven knows what is needful for you

“I do not know the reason,” remarked another saint; “but everybody is so very attentive to me, that I have not a desire to express; one would say that everyone about me is over-anxious in my regard, and passes the day in trying to give me pleasure.”

This soul practised to the letter abandonment to Divine Providence; she served God with all her heart, and God in his turn served her and caused her to be served. What a sweet exchange of loving kindness between God and the innocent soul!

Divine Providence

Listen to these charming words of St Vincent de Paul: “When God once takes a soul into his affection, no matter what it may do, He always bears with it. Have you not seen how a father treats a little child that he loves very much. He bears with all the child does, saying even to him sometimes, Bite me, little one! And why is this? Because he loves this child…” – Truly, no one but a saint could have such thoughts, and dare to express them so simply and openly.

– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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“WHY ARE YOU SO JOYFUL? DON’T YOU FEEL THE INJUSTICE OF MANKIND?”

“You are never in ill-humour,” was remarked to a woman who was known to have a sore trial in her family; “is it because you do not feel the injustice of mankind, nor the annoyance of everyday life?”

“I feel them as you do,” she replied; “but they do not wound me.”

“You have, then, special remedies for them?”

“Yes, for the annoyance of persons I have affection; for those of things I have prayer; and over each smarting wound I pronounce these words: God wills it.”

– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin 1889

 

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SO LONG AS YOUR WILL IS NOT SUBJECT TO GOD’S, YOU CANNOT HAVE A PURE LOVE

The chief end of prayer

“Saint Mary Magdalen of Pazzi used to say that in all our prayers our first object should be to obtain from God the grace necessary to accomplish His holy will in all things.

Certain souls, desirous of spiritual consolation, go to prayer only to yield themselves agreeably to the sweetness of their pious sentiments; but strong souls who are generously resolved to belong entirely to God only implore light to know His holy will and strength to accomplish it perfectly.

We shall never arrive at the pure love of God without submitting our will in everything to His divine will. ‘Do not deceive yourself,’ says Saint Francis de Sales; ‘as long as your will is not completely and gladly subject to God’s will, you cannot have a pure love.’ Now, we shall never obtain that of ourselves, but only by means of mental prayer, continuous supplication, and a true desire to belong wholly and unreservedly to Jesus Christ.”

– Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905 

 

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I DESIRE NOTHING, O MARY, BUT TO COMPLY PERFECTLY WITH THE WILL OF THY DIVINE SON

Prayer to Our Lady

Behold me at thy feet, O Virgin most kind,

seeking to obtain through thee,

the most important grace of knowing what I ought to do.

I desire nothing but to comply perfectly

with the will of thy divine Son,

at every moment of my life.

I trust in thee, being confident

since thou are the mother of my Redeemer,

you will also be the mother of my salvation.

Amen.

 
 

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ARE WE TURNING TO GOD ONLY WHEN WE NEED SOMETHING?

A BREATH-TAKING QUESTION

“‘What wouldst thou have me do for thee?’ This is the question which Jesus put to the blind man who besought mercy of our Lord as He passed by on His way to Jerusalem. It was a breath-taking question. It was a blank check on the infinite power of God. ‘Anything you want you may have,’ Jesus is saying. ‘What is your choice?’

The blind man had his answer ready. He was obsessed by a single consuming desire – to be able to gaze upon the world about him. ‘Lord, that I may see!’ he begged. Instantly his prayer was granted. ‘Receive thy sight,’ Jesus replied, ‘thy faith has saved thee.’

‘THY FAITH HAS SAVED THEE’

If Jesus suddenly were to appear before us with a similar question, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ what would our answer be? Better health? Success on the job? Money to pay off the bills? Solution of a personal or family problem?

It is to be hoped that we would have the discernment to pass over all such lesser needs and to ask for the gift which surpasses all others in importance: the grace of final perseverance, the grace of a happy death. ‘Lord, that I may love You, and love You to the end!’ This surely would be our answer if we had but one opportunity to draw upon God’s bounty.

Fortunately we are not limited to one opportunity. Jesus does not appear visibly before us, but His ears are permanently attuned to us. His invitation is never withdrawn, His benevolence is never exhausted. ‘What wouldst thou have me do for thee?’

JESUS’ INVITATION IS NEVER WITHDRAWN

God knows our wants, of course, even better than we know them ourselves. It would seem that in temporal matters the more perfect prayer of petition would be simply, ‘Give me whatever You know to be best for me, Lord; whatever is most in accord with Your will.’

Still, it pleases God to have us turn to Him in our particular needs. In every prayer of petition there is an implied act of adoration. By our requests we acknowledge God’s infinite goodness and power. We would not be turning to Him if we did not believe He cares for us and that He can help us.

GOD’S INFINITE WISDOM

If our entreaty is to be effective, however, it must also include an acknowledgement of God’s infinite wisdom. We must concede that, in the end, only God knows what is best for us and for those whose lives are intertwined with ours. His must be the final decision as to whether another grace must be substituted instead.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF PRAYER: THE HIERARCHY OF IMPORTANCE

As we well know, petitions are the least essential of our prayers. In the hierarchy of importance, prayers of adoration are at the top of the list. These are the prayers in which we salute God’s infinite greatness and holiness. We concede our own nothingness apart from Him. We assure Him of our faith in Him, our trust in Him and, above all, of our love for Him.

Next come prayers of thanksgiving for the love and the care which God has lavished upon us. Adoration and gratitude then naturally lead to prayers of contrition, as we grieve for our pettiness and our disobedience to a God so holy and good.

It is only after these three steps that we are prepared for prayer of petition. This does not mean that every time we give ourselves to prayer we must mechanically tick off praise, thanksgiving and contrition before daring to ask God for anything. It means only that we must maintain a sense of proportion in our prayers and not think that when we have asked for our daily bread, we can let the rest of the Lord’s prayer go by the board.

PRAYERS PLEASING TO GOD

In our petitions, too, there is a gradation of importance. Unselfish prayers, prayers offered for the needs of other persons, are especially pleasing to God. In praying for ourselves, it is our spiritual petitions which God most welcomes. When we plead, ‘Please, God, help me to keep from sin.’ ‘Please, God, help me to do Your will always,’ or ‘Please, God, help me to grow in love for You,’ there is no need to add the condition, ‘If it be Thy will’. In such petitions, we KNOW that our will is at one with God’s. Offered with sincerity and perseverance, these requests infallibly will be granted.”
– Fr Leo J. Trese, 1966

 

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“GOD WILL NOT SEND US TRIALS BEYOND OUR STRENGTH”

“There is no tribulation, no temptation, to which God has not set limits, so that it may serve, not to destroy, but to save us. In fact, they are included, in an essential manner, in the means of salvation, which are offered to us.

God is faithful, says the Apostle, HE WILL NOT SEND US TRIALS BEYOND OUR STRENGTH, but it is necessary that He should send us some. If you refuse to receive them, you will be your own enemy.

You are like a block of marble in the hands of the sculptor; he must chip, and carve, and polish, in order to produce a beautiful statue. God wishes to form you to His image, think only of resting passive in His hands, while He works upon you. Be sure that He will give you no blow which does not make for the perfection of His art, which is not necessary to His designs, or which does not tend to your sanctification for, as Saint Paul says, ‘the will of God is our sanctification.'”
– De Lehen, S.J.

 

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DEATH IS A TISSUE-THIN CURTAIN THROUGH WHICH WE WALK INTO A BLAZE OF GLORY

“Death is swallowed up in victory! O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?”

“DEATH IS NOTHING MORE THAN A PAPER TIGER”

“If you are afraid to die, you need not feel ashamed. Your fear of death simply proves that you are human.

Fear of death stems from the will-to-live, sometimes called the instinct of self-preservation, which is a normal part of our human equipment. God has endowed us with this stubborn attachment to life precisely so that we shall adequately safeguard our physical well-being and live out the span of days which He has in mind for us. It is as natural to shrink from the thought of death as it is to eat when we are hungry.

FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN

Our fear of death is intensified by another human characteristic – fear of the unknown. Even if we have a deep religious faith and are strong in the virtues of hope, we remain apprehensive concerning our life beyond the grave. We do not question the fact that an ecstatic happiness awaits us, but it will be a new kind of life, different from our present mode of existence and quite unimaginable. As a consequence, we face the prospect of death with some trepidation.

SMALL CHILDREN

This fear of the unknown is plainly visible in small children. For example, a youngster is excited because he has been promised his first boat ride. But as he approaches the gangplank of the excursion steamer he becomes frightened and pulls back, sobbing, ‘I don’t want to go!’ Another child may be similarly terrified when he is first lifted onto the wooden horse of a merry-go-round. Still another toddler will whimper and rebel when, on his first trip to the beach, he is led to the water’s edge in his swim suit.

UNEASINESS

We adults have pretty well outgrown such fears of the unknown, but very few of us have conquered our uneasiness at the thought of death. Fortunately, the fact of death will be much easier than the anticipation. Either we shall die suddenly, with no time for panic, or we shall die after a debilitating illness, too weak to care whether we live or not.

WE HAVE HIS ABSOLUTE GUARANTEE

We need not feel ashamed that we are apprehensive concerning death, but fortunately Jesus has robbed death of any real terror. We have His absolute guarantee of a better and an everlasting life. ‘I am the resurrection and the life,’ our Lord assures us; ‘he who believes in Me, even if he die, shall live.’ This promise is fortified by still another: ‘He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has everlasting life, and I shall raise him up on the last day.’

IF WE HAVE AN EFFECTIVE FAITH WE ARE INVULNERABLE TO DEATH’S THREATENING SCOWL

If we have faith in Jesus, an effective faith which issues in love for God and for neighbour, and if we nourish ourselves on His Body, then we are invulnerable to death’s threatening scowl. Death has become for us nothing more than a paper tiger – a fearsome-looking but tissue-thin curtain through which we walk into a blaze of glory. It is no wonder that St Paul exclaims, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory! O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?’

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT MOMENT IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE?

It has been said that the most important moment of our life will be the moment of death. In a sense that is true. But it is even more true to say that the most important moment of our life is RIGHT NOW, right this present moment. Because it will be such ‘right now’ that will be the moment of our death.

The chances are a million to one that this particular moment – as I write or as you read – will not be the moment of death for either of us. But there will come a particular moment for each of us when that is no longer true, a moment when the odds have become meaningless, a moment when God says, ‘come to Me, NOW!’

CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT

That is why it is so essential that as God looks into our hearts, at any moment of the day or night, He should be able to see there some evidence of love for Him. That is why it is so crucially important that at this very instant, no matter what we may be doing and even though our conscious mind may be on other things, our basic attitude should be a desire to do God’s will.

We are weak, yes. We are very imperfect, yes. But at least let God see, this moment, that our ‘fix’ is upon Him and that our reach is toward Him.”
– Fr Leo Trese, 1966

 

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