Saturday, October 14, 2006

“God has made the attainment of our happiness, his glory”

from Pontifications
O the supreme folly of those who resist the divine will! In God’s providence, no one can escape hardship: “Who resisteth his will?” A person who rails at God in adversity, suffers without merit; moreover by his lack of resignation he adds to his punishment in the next life and experiences greater disquietude of mind in this life: “Who resisteth him and hath had peace?” The screaming rage of the sick man in his pain, the whining complaints of the poor man in his destitution—what will they avail these people, except increase their unhappiness and bring them no relief? “Little man,” says St. Augustine, “grow up. What are you seeking in your search for happiness? Seek the one good that embraces all others.” Whom do you seek, friend, if you seek not God? Seek him, find him, cleave to him; bind your will to his with bands of steel and you will live always at peace in this life and in the next.
God wills only our good; God loves us more than anybody else can or does love us. His will is that no one should lose his soul, that everyone should save and sanctify his soul: “Not willing that any should perish, but that all should return to penance.” “This is the will of God, your sanctification” God has made the attainment of our happiness, his glory. Since he is by his nature infinite goodness, and since as St. Leo says goodness is diffusive of itself, God has a supreme desire to make us sharers of his goods and of his happiness. If then he sends us suffering in this life, it is for our own good: “All things work together unto good.” Even chastisements come to us, not to crush us, but to make us mend our ways and save our souls: “Let us believe that these scourges of the Lord have happened for our amendment and not for our destruction.”
God surrounds us with his loving care lest we suffer eternal damnation: “O Lord, thou hast crowned us as with a shield of thy good will.” He is most solicitous for our welfare: “The Lord is solicitous for me.” What can God deny us when he has given us his own son? “He that spared not even his own son, but delivered him up for us all, how hath he not also, with him, given us all things?” Therefore we should most confidently abandon ourselves to all the dispositions of divine providence, since they are for our own good. In all that happens to us, let us say: “In peace, in the self same I will sleep, and I will rest: Because thou, O Lord, hast singularly settled me in hope”
Let us place ourselves unreservedly in his hands because he will not fail to have care of us: “Casting all your care upon him, for he hath care of you.” Let us keep God in our thoughts and carry out his will, and he will think of us and of our welfare. Our Lord said to St. Catherine of Siena, “Daughter, think of me, and I will always think of you.” Let us often repeat with the Spouse in the Canticle: “My beloved to me, and I to him.”
St Alphonsus Liguori


Anonymous said...

This is a very inspiring piece but it highlights something that I have never understood. We are told to accept our pain and misery and I'm sure that's right,but when the sick were brought to Jesus, He healed them; there doesn't seem to be a recorded instance of Him telling anyone to accept their pain - or blindness or any other agony. And didn't He tell the apostles to heal the sick? Father, please will you explain this.

Fr Ray Blake said...

St Thomas Aquinas commenting on the camel passing through the eye of a needle, says is equally hard for the poor man if he is totally absorbed by his poverty.
I think what is being said here is: accept what you are given if it cannot be changed, otherwise we waste an aweful lot of energy and effort in struggling against what is inevitable, like an old woman/man desperately trying to hold onto youth, spending more and money on lotions and pills, cursing each wrinkle and grey hair, hating his/her aging body and becoming more and more ridiculous in a failing struggle, which ends in self loathing and loathing neighbour and God.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Does that answer?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Father. I suppose its the problem of deciding when suffering is inevitable and to be accepted with patience and resignation and when we should "rage against it". (Ageing is, I'm afraid, inevitable!)

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