Friday after Septuagesima: The Duty, Honour, and Glory of the Service of
Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation
We will resume tomorrow, in three words, our meditations of this week; to be wholly God’s is a duty, a glory, and a happiness. We will then make the resolution: first, to sacrifice to God the slightest attachments we are able to perceive in ourselves; second, often to repeat as an ejaculatory prayer: All to God alone, all for God alone. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the words of the Psalmist: “What have I in heaven? and besides Thee what do I desire upon earth? For Thee my flesh and my heart hath fainted away” (Ps. lxxii:25–26).
Meditation for the Morning
Let us adore God as the supremely amiable Being, the only amiable One to whom it is just, honourable, and infinitely advantageous to attach ourselves. Yes, my God, to be Thine alone, Thine entirely, Thine always, is a duty, a glory, and a happiness.
To be wholly God’s is a duty
It is a duty of justice, because our whole being is from Him and of Him; it is a duty of gratitude, because we exist only by His benefits; it is a duty of conscience, since we cannot subtract anything from Him without our conscience telling us that we are doing wrong, and very wrong; it is a duty of honour and delicacy, since if God deigns, through compassion for our weakness, to leave many things in the rank of counsels, and not to press us in what He desires of us by making of it an express commandment, it ought to be an additional reason to make us generous in His service, and to do for Him as much as we can, and in the best possible manner; not that we ought to be troubled by our infidelities in what is not of precept, and allow ourselves to be thrown into scruples, but we ought to humble ourselves and be confounded in the presence of God, and repair past negligence by a greater fidelity.
To be wholly God’s is a glory
To give up a portion of our heart and of our time to serve creatures, the world, our passions, or bad inclinations, is a shame, an indignity, a degradation of the dignity of man and of the character of a Christian. True glory consists in raising all our intentions to God, without ever descending to the creature. Amongst men it is considered an honour to labour only for kings, and we ought to look upon it as an honour to labour only for God. We are too great to labour for the world; the world will pass, and we shall never pass away. We are the children of God; nay, we are even of the very same race as God (Acts xvii:28), the friends, the confid- ants, the favourites of God; and being in so lofty a position, we ought not to lower ourselves to act for an end which is below God. Our vocation is to imitate God, to act in God, to live like God. Now, God proposes Himself alone as the end of all that He does. Our glory is to remain at this height, and not to descend to the little and low aims of the creature. What a shame it is for us to degrade ourselves when our destination is so sublime! Let us henceforth have more pride, and let us do nothing except for God.
To be wholly God’s is a happiness
If we have regard, in even the smallest degree, to any other end than God alone, we are unhappy; we fear, we desire, and a mere nothing which may be wanting to us poisons all the rest. Even when nothing is wanting, we feel that all is deception and vanity, trouble and bitterness, danger and a precipice. If, on the contrary, our hearts are wholly God’s, we have peace, confidence, and happiness. We are well with God, because He becomes our friend as soon as ever we desire He should be, and a sure friend, who will not fail us except in proportion as we will to have it so. We are well with our neighbour, because the more we are God’s, the more meek and humble, charitable, disinterested and equitable we are; that is to say, we become everything that gains the heart’s esteem and affection. We are well with ourselves, because the heart which reposes fully in God is in its element; it finds therein life, happiness, an anticipated paradise. Let us reflect on how much pain we spare ourselves in being wholly God’s, and how many subjects of affliction we create for ourselves
by serving the creature.
Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.