Thursday, August 19, 2004

Christian Heritage - August 18 & 19

Our Will Wants God

"Our lover is eternity, and has made us for himself alone, has restored us by his blessed passion, and keeps us in his blessed love. And all because he is goodness. Our lover desires indeed that our soul should cleave to him with all its might, and ever hold on to his goodness. Beyond our power to imagine does this most please God, and speed the soul on its course.

"The love of God Most High for our soul is so wonderful that it surpasses all knowledge. No created being can know the greatness, the sweetness, the tenderness of the love that our Maker has for us. By his grace and help therefore let us in spirit stand and gaze, eternally marveling at the supreme, surpassing, single-minded, incalculable love that God, who is goodness, has for us. Then we can ask reverently of our lover whatever we will. For by nature our will wants God, and the good will of God wants us. We shall never cease wanting and longing until we possess him in fullness and joy. Then we shall have no further wants. Meanwhile his will is that we go on knowing and loving until we are perfected in heaven."

Julian of Norwich (AD 1342-1423), Revelations of Divine Love, 68-71

Julian was an anchoress who lived in solitude in Norwich, England, received the sixteen "showings" or revelations of God's love in a series of experience visions.

Relying on the Goodness of God

"Our beloved Savior assures us in various places in his holy scriptures that he never ceases to watch over and care for us, and that he carries us and will always carry us in his own bosom, in his heart, and in his soul. Even if there were a mother who came to forget the child she bore in her womb, he would never forget us; he has written us on his hands, so as to have us always before his eyes; whoever touches us touches the apple of his eye; we should never be anxious about what we need to live on and to wear, for he knows very well that we need these things and takes care to provide them for us.

"Let us beware of ever relying on the influence or favor of our friends, on our possessions, intelligence, knowledge, strength, good desires, and resolutions; on our prayers, or even on the confidence we are aware of having in God; on human resources or on any created thing, but solely on the mercy of God. It is not that we should make no use of the things I have mentioned, and bring to our aid everything we can to help us overcome our faults, practice virtue, manage and carry out the work God has put into our hands, and fulfill the duties of our station in life. But we must give up all idea of expecting support from these things, and all the confidence we might have in them, and rely entirely on the goodness of our Lord."

John Eudes (AD 1601-1660), The Kingdom of Jesus, Oeuvres I, 238-239

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