Faith in Practice
From book "Divine Intimacy - Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day Of The Liturgical Year"... Presence of God O Lord, grant that in every circ...
Presence of God
O Lord, grant that in every circumstance of my life, I may be guided by the light of faith.
I. Faith ought to be the light which envelops not only our moments of prayer but our whole life as well. In prayer we say, "I believe in God, the Father almighty but a few minutes afterwards, in the face of some difficult task, a tiresome person, or something which upsets our plans, we forget that these have all been willed and planned by God for our good. We forget that God is our Father, and therefore is more concerned about our welfare than we are ourselves. We forget that God is all-powerful and can help us in every difficulty. In losing sight of the light of faith, which makes us see everything as dependent upon God and ordered by Him for our good, we lose ourselves in merely human considerations and protests, as if God had nothing to do with our life or had very little place in it.
We give way to discouragement as though we had no faith. Yes, we believe in God, the Father Almighty, but we do not believe to the point of seeing His will, or at least His permission, in every circumstance. And yet, until faith becomes such a factor in our life that it makes us see all things in relation to God, and as dependent upon Him, we will not be able to say that the light of faith is the guide of our life. It is, of course, but only partially. How often this true light, which participates in the very light of God, remains hidden under the bushel of a mentality which is still too human, too earthly! Jesus said, "Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house" (Mt. 5, 15). The light of faith was enkindled within us at Baptism; we must hold it aloft, above all our thoughts and reasonings, so that it may illumine our whole life, our whole house, that is, the interior dwelling of our soul and the exterior world in which we live, with all its persons, places, and things.
II. One who lives by faith can repeat the beautiful words of Sr. Elizabeth of the Trinity : "Everything that happens is a message to me of God’s great love for my soul." To attain this living and profound gaze of faith, we must accustom ourselves, in our relations with creatures, to pass over secondary causes in order to reach the first cause, God, who by His Providence rules and orders everything for His own holy ends. Since we know and believe that He who directs all things is our Father, we will entrust ourselves to His direction with absolute confidence, and thus we will remain serene even in adversity, strong in the conviction that He can make use of evil, of man’s errors, and even of sins and malice for the good of the elect. "To them that love God, all things work together unto good!" (Rm. 8, 28). The gaze of faith is most comprehensive and real, because it takes into account the total reality of creatures and events, considering them not only in their material entity, but also in relation to their dependence on God. The more we know how to look at everything in this light, so much the more closely will we approach the eternal thought and infinite wisdom of God, judging everything according to God’s infallible truth. With this view of faith it will be easier for us to accept the painful situations and hardships of life, for we will be able to see in them God’s paternal hand ordering everything for our sanctification. If, judging things from a human point of view, we are tempted to protest, to bring forward our own reasons and our rights, to rebel against treatment which in itself is unjust; we should raise our eyes to God, and consider that He permits all this for the exercise ofvirtue and to spur us on to sanctity. Then we would find the strength to accept everything peacefully, and to maintain a kindly attitude toward those who make us suffer. But at the same time, we should remember that faith is a light that is obscure to our intellect, and therefore, it very often asks us to believe in God’s wise, loving guidance, even when we do not understand and are inclined to think that everything is going wrong. This is precisely what constitutes the true life of faith, and "the just man liveth by faith" (Rm. 1, 17).
"My God, to give You pleasure and to obtain much from You, I have only to believe in Your love, Your power, and in the sweetness of Your gifts; I should believe that You have an ardent desire to give them to me and that Your desire far exceeds my great longing to receive them. I should believe it because the just man lives by faith. I want to be like an affectionate child who has no desire either to see or to know what means You will choose to shower it with Your ineffable gifts; I must only believe, because the just man lives by faith.
"O Lord, You penetrate everywhere with Your goodness, Your personal, infinite love, and Your omnipotence. Give me a very simple faith by which, without reflection, I can move and remain in this truth as in my center, a haven of peace where nothing can touch me ifI remain well hidden within it. O God, You love me more than I can love myself and You can do everything; You desire my well-being above all else; I ought to believe that You desire it more than I do. I place myself constantly before You, because I know that acts of perfect adoration and total abandonment are more true, humble, and simple when devoid of any feeling; they are made with the help of faith alone. . . especially when my soul, in its inferior part, sees and touches a profound void in time and in eternity. Then O Lord, grant that in this state, I may remain by faith, more present than ever before You. O wonder ofwonders! When it pleases Your divine goodness, the soul, in its superior part can feel itself inundated with peace, even while the tempest continues. O ineffable peace, which surpasses all expression! You take away forever our taste for sensible things and make us run to pure faith as to the one source of the divine good whose ineffable and thousand times blessed fruit you are" (cf. Bl. M. Therese Soubiran).
"O Lord, it is so sweet to serve You in darkness and in the midst of trial, for we have only this life in which to live by faith" (T.C.J. C).
Topics in this meditation:Faith
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