Monday, March 10, 2008

On Rest in God IV

"The experience of this is certain, and has never failed. From the moment that we give our hearts to God, that we put our conscience in order, that we take measures to avoid all sin, venial as well as mortal, that we make a firm determination to be attentive and faithful to Diving grace, and to refuse nothing to God, that we put ourselves under the direction of an enlightened guide, and resolve to obey him in all things - from that moment we enter upon a rest and a peace which we have never before experienced, of which we could have formed no idea, and at which we are utterly astonished. This rest is at first very sweet and pleasant. We enjoy it, and we feel that we are enjoying it; it draws us and concentrates us within ourselves. When we have this rest nothing troubles us, nothing wearies us. Any position, however painful it would otherwise be, is agreeable to us; all other pleasures, whatever they may be, become tasteless and insipid to us; we avoid carefully everything that could withdraw us from this sweet enjoyment of the peace of god. No miser ever feared so much to lose his treasure as we fear everything that could take away from us our rest or change it in any way. This is that blessed sleep of the soul, in which she wakes for God alone and sleeps for everything else.

This may seem like a dream, or a fancy, or an illusion to those who have never experienced it. And it is not only worldlings who thing thus; all those to whom rest is unknown, because they have not really given themselves to God, treat it as a delusion, or as the wondering of an overheated imagination. But let us rather believe the saints who speak of it from their own experience; let us believe Saint Paul, who speaks to us of the "peace that passes all understanding;" let us believe our Lord Jesus Christ, who calls this rest His peace, a Divine peace, which the world can neither give nor take away. A peace which we can never obtain by our own efforts, because it is the gift of God, an is His rewared for the absolute and irrevocable gift of ourselves which we have made to Him."

Source: Manual for Interior Souls by Fr. Grou S.J. 3rd edition. London: St. Anselm's Society, Westminster, England. 1905.

My God, My I long for this rest that is only Yours to give. I do so will it, and so shall I seek this gift from Thee. My soul burneth to the depths for Thy love and only with it shall I cease to thirst. Only in Thy love and grace, in this peace which surpasses all understanding shall I be Yours and only Yours. May I die today to this world and to myself. I commit from this day forward, with the help of Thy grace to be in this world, but not of work in this world but keep my eyes only on You. I give you everything, and hold nothing back. This can only be accomplished by You, for I am a weak and worthless servant. Amen+

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