In all our actions we should have no other end in view than to please God; not to please our relatives, friends, great people, or ourselves, because everything that is not done for the sake of God is lost. Many things are done for the sake of pleasure, or in order not to displease men; but, says St. Paul, If I yet please men, I should not be the servant of God.1 God only must be regarded in everything we do, so that we may say, as Jesus Christ said, I do always the things that please him.2 It is God who has given us everything we have; we have nothing of our own, except nothingness and sin. It is God alone who has truly loved us. He has loved us from eternity, and he has loved us so far as to give himself for us upon the cross and in the Sacrament of the altar: God alone, therefore, deserves all our love.
Unhappy is the soul that looks with affection upon any object upon earth which displeases God. It will never know peace in this life, and it is in imminent peril of never enjoying peace in the next. But happy is he, O my God! who seeks Thee alone, and renounces everything for Thy love. He will find that pearl of Thy pure love a joy more precious than all the treasures and kingdoms of the earth. He that does this obtains the true liberty of the sons of God, for he finds himself freed from all the bonds that bind him to earth, and hinder him from uniting himself to God.
O my God and my all! I would rather have Thee than all the riches, honors, knowledge, glory, expectations, and gifts that Thou couldst give me. Thou art all my good. Thee alone I desire, and nothing more; for Thou alone art infinitely beautiful, infinitely kind, infinitely worthy of love, in a word, Thou art the only thing that is good. Wherefore every gift that is not Thyself is not enough for me. I repeat, and I will ever repeat it, Thee alone I wish for, and nothing more; and whatever is less than Thee, I say it again, is not sufficient for me.
Oh, when will it be given me to occupy myself wholly in praising Thee, loving Thee, and pleasing Thee, so that I shall no more think of the creature, nor even of myself? O my Lord and my love! help me when Thou seest me growing cold in Thy love, in danger of giving my affection to creatures and to earthly goods; Stretch forth Thy hand from on high, seize me, and deliver me from many waters.3 Deliver me from the danger of going far away from Thee.
Let others seek what they will; it pleases not me, and I desire nothing but Thee, my God, my love and my hope: What have I in heaven, and what have I desired on earth, but Thee, O thou God of my heart, and my portion forever; my God and my all?4
Let men undeceive themselves; all good things that come from creatures are but dust, smoke, and deceits; God alone can satisfy them. But in this life he does not grant us to enjoy him fully; he only gives us certain foretastes of the good things which he promises us in heaven; there he waits to satisfy us with his own joy, when he will say to us, Enter into the joy of thy Lord.5 The Lord gives heavenly consolations to his servants, only to make them yearn for that happiness which he prepares for them in Paradise.
O almighty God! O God worthy of love! grant that in all things henceforth we may love and seek nothing but Thy pleasure. Grant that Thou mayest be my all and my only love, since Thou alone, both justly and through gratitude, dost deserve all our affections. I have no greater pain to afflict me than the thought that in times past I have so little loved Thy infinite goodness; but I desire and resolve, with Thy help, to love Thee with all my strength for the time to come, and thus I hope to die, loving Thee alone, my greatest good. O Mary, Mother of God ! pray for me, a miserable being: thy prayers are never refused; pray to Jesus, that he may make me all his own.
1“Si adhuc hominibus placerem, Christi servus non essem.” -- Gal. i. 10.
2“Ego, quæ placita sunt ei, facio semper.” -- John, viii. 29.
3“Emitte manum tuam de alto, eripe me, et libera me de aquis multis.” -- Ps. cxliii. 7.
4“Quid enim mihi est in cœlo? et a te quid volui super terrain? . . . Deus cordis mei, et pars mea Deus in æternum.” -- Ps. lxxii. 25.
5“Intra in gaudium Domini tui.” -- Matt. xxv. 21.