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Tuesday of the sixteenth week after Pentecost

Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice

From book "Divine Intimacy - Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day Of The Liturgical Year"... Presence of God O Holy Spirit, may I no longer h...

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Divine Intimacy

Fr. Gabriel

Presence of God

O Holy Spirit, may I no longer hunger for the things of earth, but for heavenly things alone.


I. When the Holy Spirit becomes master of a soul and takes entire control of it, He communicates to it an invincible strength which sweeps away and overcomes all obstacles, enabling it to bear all kinds ofsuffering. As the strong are not easily satisfied, but are always aspiring to greater things, so in the measure in which the Holy Spirit strengthens a soul, He makes ever increasing desires to spring up in it, longings for justice and virtue and sanctity, so ardent and impelling that they may well be called hunger and thirst. Under the influence of the gift of fortitude, the soul hungers and thirsts after justice. This explains how the fourth beatitude corresponds to the gift of fortitude. "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill" (Alt 5,6). The word justice must be taken in the very broad sense, signifying perfection, sanctity, and a total gift ofself to God and to souls; it is in this sense that the Holy Spirit impels the soul, revealing to it ever wider horizons, calling it to ever more perfect works and to an increasingly generous and complete gift of self. Such a soul can no longer reserve anything for itself: the Holy Spirit will not permit it; it must give itself wholly. "The charity of Christ presseth us" (2 Cor 5,14), the soul repeats with St. Paul. It is consumed by a burning thirst for God’s will, which it seeks even as the miser searches for gold. It is an ardent thirst for sanctity which will not tolerate the slightest infidelity to grace; the soul always thinks itself to be doing too little for God, and "ifit were lawful for it to be destroyed a thousand times for Him it would be comforted" (J.C. DN II, 19,3); it has a burning thirst for souls, and continually spends itself for them, without ever sparing itself; it thirsts for God’s glory and has no thought of rest, but is always ready for new sacrifices and labors. Whence comes such courage and zeal? Not from its own strength and energy, as it well knows, but it springs from the power of the Holy Spirit, from trust in Him and docility to His inspirations. The soul can truthfully say : "I can do all things in Him who strengtheneth me" (Fp. 4, 13).

II. 2.Just as a starving person rejoices when he can satisfy his hunger with bread, so the soul living under the influence of the gift of fortitude rejoices when it is able to satisfy its hunger for justice and sanctity. It is happy when able to immerse itself in God’s will, the only food which can satiate it; it rejoices when it can quench its thirst for immolation by sacrificing itself for God and for souls. The soul is delighted when it can appease its hunger for God by receiving Him in the Eucharist, or by immersing itself in Him in the intimacy of prayer. This is a pure joy, because it is not sought after, but is the fruit of the fulfillment of duty, the joy of the soul gravitating toward its center, God, and conscious of giving itself more and more to Him, of belonging entirely to Him. But to taste this joy, the soul must be firmly resolved not to want, seek, or admit any other. St. Teresa of Jesus says : "Anyone whose sole pleasure lies in seeking God and who cares nothing for her own pleasure, will find our life a very good one" (Way, 13).

If we do not taste thisjoy, it is because we do not hunger after justice sufficiently : together with this holy hunger we still nourish, perhaps, eagerness for the things of the world; and our hunger for earthly things and earthly joys weakens our hunger for justice, making us turn aside in search of human satisfactions. But what can creatures give us? They will never be able to satiate our hunger, but will always leave us unsatisfied. Let us, therefore, ask the Holy Spirit to extinguish in us all hunger for earthly things and to make our hunger for sanctity increase. This hunger is still very weak in us and, above all, it is inconstant. How many times, after making great resolutions, we have relapsed, and remained discouraged, perhaps even resigned to doing no better. The Holy Spirit, through the gift of fortitude, wishes to make our hunger for sanctity stronger and more persevering, that it may never be extinguished, leaving us to die of starvation, but may satiate us with imperishable goods : with God’s will, with justice, with sanctity. He who has the power to awaken this hunger in us, has also the power to satisfy it even to satiety, and with this satiety we shall be blessed forever.


"O God, ocean of sacred love and sweetness, come and give Yourself to my soul. Grant that I may continually long for You with my whole heart, with absolute desire and burning love, and that I may live in You. O my true supreme joy, may I prefer You to all creatures, and for Your sake, renounce ail transitory pleasures!

"O Lord, nourish this starving beggar with the influx of Your divinity, and delight me with the desired presence of Your grace. This I long and beg for, so that Your vehement love may penetrate, fill, and transform me into You.

"O loving Redeemer, make me burn with love for You, making no account of myself, and finding my delight in You alone; may I know and enjoy no one but You. O overflowing abyss of the divinity! draw me, and immerse me in You! Take all the love from my heart and apply it to Yourself, so that I may be dead to all other things.

"My soul calls You, and seeks You with indescribable love, O delight of loving embraces! Come, my Beloved, come, You whom I desire above all, that I may possess You within me, and that my soul may embrace You and hold You close! Come into my soul, O sovereign sweetness, and let me taste Your sweetness, and delight and rest in You alone.

"O my Beloved, Beloved of all my desires, let me find You and then hold You and press You close in a spiritual embrace. I desire You, I sigh for You, O eternal Beatitude! Oh! give Yourself to me, unite me closely to You, and inebriate me with the wine ofYour love!" (Bl. Louis de Blois).

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The gifts of fortitude

Monday of the sixteenth week after Pentecost