Tuesday, 30 June 2009

In God Alone is Found True Peace

He that seeks peace in creatures will never find it, because no creatures are fitted for giving satisfaction to the heart. God has created man for himself, who is an infinite good; wherefore God alone can content him. Hence it comes that many persons, though loaded with riches, honors, and earthly pleasures, are never satisfied; they are ever seeking for more honors, more possessions, more amusements; and, however many they obtain, they are always restless, and never enjoy a day of true peace. Delight thou in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desire of thy heart.1 When any person delights only in God, and seeks nothing but God, God himself will take care to satisfy all the desires of his heart; and then he will attain the happy state of those souls who desire nothing but to please God.

Senseless are they who say, “Happy is he who can employ himself as he likes, who can command others, who can take what pleasures he pleases.” It is madness; he alone is happy who loves God, who says that God alone is sufficient for him. Experience, shows clearly that multitudes of persons who are called fortunate by men of the world, because they are raised up to the possession of great riches and great dignities, live a miserable life, and never find rest.

But how is this, that so many rich and titled people, and princes, in the midst of the abundance of the goods of the world, do not find peace? And, on the other hand, how is it that so many good religious, who live retired in a cell, poor and hidden, pass their days so happily? How is it that so many solitaries, living in a desert or within a cave, suffering hunger and cold, yet rejoice with gladness? It is because they wait only on God, and God comforts them.

The peace of God surpasseth all understanding.2 Oh, how the peace which the Lord gives to those who love him exceeds all the delights which the world can give! Oh, taste and see how sweet the Lord is.3 O men of the world! cries the prophet, why will ye despise the life of the saints without having ever known it? Try it, for once; leave the world, leave it, and give yourself to God, and you will see how well he knows how to comfort you more than all the greatnesses and delights of this world.

It is true that even the saints suffer great troubles in this life; but they, resigning themselves to the will of God, never lose their peace The lovers of the world seem now at times joyful, at times sad, but, in truth, they are ever restless and in a state of storms. On the other hand, the lovers of God are superior to all adversity and to the changes of this world, and therefore they live in uniform tranquility. See how the celebrated Cardinal Petrucci describes a soul that is wholly given to God: “It beholds all creatures around change into a thousand various forms, while within, the depths of its heart, ever united with God, continue without change.”

But he who would live ever united with God, and would enjoy a continual peace, must drive from his heart everything that is not God, and live as if he were dead to earthly affections O my God! give me strength to separate myself from all the snares that draw me to the world. Grant that I may think of nothing but to please Thee.

Happy are they for whom God alone is sufficient! O Lord! give me grace that I may seek nothing but Thee, and ask for nothing but to love Thee and give Thee pleasure. For love of Thee I now renounce all earthly pleasures, I renounce also all spiritual consolations; I desire nothing but to do Thy will, and to give Thee pleasure. O Mother of God! recommend me to thy Son, who denies thee nothing.

1“Delectare in Domino, et dabit tibi petitiones cordis tui.” -- Ps. xxxvi. 4.

2“Pax Dei, quæ exsuperat omnem sensum.” -- Phil. iv. 7.

3“Gustate, et videte quoniam suavis est Dominus.” -- Ps. xxxiii. 9.

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