Thursday, March 6, 2008
On Rest in God III
"But to repose in God, what must we do? We must give ourselves entirely to Him, and we must sacrifice to Him everything else. If we only give ourselves partly to Him, if we make some reservation, if we keep back some attachment, it is quite clear that our rest cannot be entire of perfect, because trouble will glide in by the place in our heart that is not united to God and resting only on Him. This is why so few Christians enjoy a real peace - a peace that is continual, full and unchanging. They do not fix their rest in God alone, they do not trust everything to Him, they do not abandon everything to Him. Nevertheless, there is no true and solid rest to be found but in this utter abandonment.
This rest is unchangeable, as God is; it is elevated, as God is, above all created things; it is most secret and intimate, because it is only God, the enjoyment of Whom pierces to the very depths of our hearts; it is full, because God completely fills and satisfies the heart; it leaves nothing to desire, and nothing to regret, because he who possesses God can neither desire or regret anything else. This rest calms the passions, tranquilizes the imagination, composes the mind and fixes the inconstancy of the heart. This rest subsists in the midst of all changes of fortune, of every imaginable evil and misfortune, even in the midst of temptations and trials, because nothing in these things can reach the centre of the soul which is reposing in God. The martyrs upon the scaffold, a prey to the most horrible tortures, the confessors in poverty, in prison, in exile, in persecution, tasted this rest in the depths of their souls, and were happy. The saints have tasted it in solitude, in the exercise of a most austere penance, in hard and excessive labours, in calumnies, in humiliations, in infirmities and sicknesses. A crowd of Christians have tasted it in the painful duties of their state of life, in the crosses attached to it, in the common life and all the cares and anxieties it entails. It only depends upon ourselves to enjoy it as they did. If we will it, God will be to us what He has been to them. He only asks of us, as He asked of them, one single thing, which is that we should lean only upon Him, and seek our rest and happiness in Him alone."
Source: Manual for Interior Souls by Fr. Grou S.J. 3rd edition. London: St. Anselm's Society, Westminster, England. 1905.