Wednesday, March 5, 2008
On Rest in God II
"Others establish their rest in themselves, and in doing this they think they are much wiser than those who seek it in exterior things. But are they really wise? Is man made to be sufficient for himself? Can he find in himself the principle of his rest? His ideas change every day; his heart is in a perpetual state of unrest; he is constantly imagining new systems of happiness, and he finds this happiness nowhere. If he is alone, he is devoured with weariness; if he is in company, however select and agreeable it may be, it soon becomes tiresome to him; his reflections exhaust him and distract him for a time, but they cannot fill up the void in his heart. This is the kind of rest which human wisdom promises to its followers, and for which it invites them to give up everything else, to isolate themselves, to concentrate their attention on themselves. A deceitful rest, which is not exempt from the most violent agitations, and which is at least as hard for man to bear as the tumult of his passions!
Where then is rest to be found, if we can find it neither in the good things of this world nor in ourselves? It is to be found in God, and in God alone. Jesus Christ came into the world to teach us this truth, and it is the greatest lesson that He has given us. But how few there are that profit by it!
"Thou hast made us for Thyself," cries out Saint Augustine, "and our heart finds no rest until it reposes in Thee."
This truth is the first principle of all morality; reason, religion and experience all unite in proving it to us."
Source: Manual for Interior Souls by Fr. Grou S.J. 3rd edition. London: St. Anselm's Society, Westminster, England. 1905.
O Lord how much energy, time, effort put into "improving" myself? The music lessons, the reading, the learning? These are not bad in and of themselves but I see now how behind these "interests" lies the secret ambition to be complete, to have perfect happiness and this elusive rest - I will never, can never attain this rest outside of You. I must seek first Thee Lord, in prayer and in the Sacraments of your Church and not in the things of this world - which shall all pass away. Amen+