This has been the one chief and dearest endeavor of all saints, to desire with their whole heart to endure every toil, all contempt, every pain, in order to please God, and thus to please that divine heart, which so much deserves to be loved, and loves us so much.
In this consists all perfection, and the love of a soul towards God, in its ever seeking the pleasure of God, and the doing of that which most pleases God. Oh, blessed is he who can say with Jesus Christ, Those things which are pleasing to Thee, I always do.1 And what greater honor, what greater comfort, can a soul have than to go through some fatigue, or to accept some labor, believing it to be acceptable to God?
It is more than a duty that we should give pleasure to that God who has so much loved us, has given us all that we possess; and, not content with giving us so many blessings, has gone so far as to give himself for us upon the cross, dying upon it for love of us; and then has instituted the Sacrament of the altar, where he gives himself wholly to us in the Holy Communion, so that he has no more that he can give.
On this account the saints have never known where to stay, in order to give pleasure to God. How many young nobles have left the world, in order to give them selves wholly to God! How many young women, even of royal blood, have renounced marriage with the great in order to shut themselves up in a cloister! How many anchorites have gone to hide themselves in deserts and caves in order to meditate upon God alone! How many martyrs have embraced scourges and fiery plates, and the most cruel torments of tyrants, in order to please God! In a word, in order to give pleasure to God, the saints have stripped themselves of their possessions, have renounced the greatest earthly dignities, and have accepted as treasures infirmities, persecutions, the loss of property, and the most painful and desolate deaths.
The good pleasure of God, therefore, if we truly love it, ought to be preferred by us to the acquisition of all riches, of the loftiest glory, of all the delights of earth, and even of Paradise itself; for it is certain that all the blessed, if they were to know that it would please God more that they should burn in hell, one and all, even the Mother of God among them, would cast themselves into that abyss of flames, and suffer eternally in order to give greater pleasure to God.
For this end the Lord has placed us in the world, in order that we may devote ourselves to pleasing him, and to giving him glory. Wherefore the will of God ought to be the one object of all our desires, of all our thoughts and actions. Well does that heart deserve to be pleased in all things which has so greatly loved us, and is so anxious for our good.
But how is it, O Lord! that, ungrateful, instead of seeking to give Thee pleasure, I have so often displeased Thee? Yet the abhorrence which Thou causest me to feel for the sins I have committed against Thee teaches me that Thou dost desire to pardon me. Pardon me, then, and suffer me not to be any more ungrateful to Thee. Grant that I may conquer everything to give Thee pleasure. In Thee, O Lord! have I hoped; I shall not be confounded forever.2 O Queen of Heaven, and my Mother! draw me wholly to God.
1“Ego, quæ placita sunt ei, facio semper.” -- John, viii. 29.
2“In te, Domine, speravi, non confundar in æternum.” -- Ps. xxx. 2.