29 April 2023

Bishop Challoner's Meditations - Saturday After the Second Sunday


Consider first, that in this third petition, the soul embraces with all her heart the holy will of God, earnestly desiring and praying that both she herself, and every soul upon earth, may ever be both a faithful servant and true lover of the divine will, even as the saints and angels are in Heaven, who are so absorbed in the love of God that they have no other will but the will of God. So that this petition, like the two former, contains an act of divine love. A love of benevolence to God, inasmuch as the soul here desires to give all to God, and to bring both her own will and all other wills to him; that all may embrace, bow down, and adore, love, serve, and obey the sacred will of God, and conform to it in all things. And a love of the most perfect charity to ourselves and to our neighbours, in desiring and procuring for ourselves and them so great a good as is this perfect conformity to the will of God, and that God’s holy will may be ever done, both in us and by us.

Consider 2ndly, how just it is that we should ever adhere to the holy will of God, and pray with all our hearts that his holy will may be done in all things. The will of God is always good, is always wise, is always right and equitable, is always beautiful; and therefore we ought always to embrace it and love it. He perfectly knows what is best, and what is best for us; and if we will leave ourselves in his hands he will certainly order all things for the best, and therefore it is our wisest way, if we love ourselves, to give ourselves up to his holy will. The will of God is all-powerful, and must take place; and therefore it is madness to set ourselves against his Almighty will; it serves for nothing but to make us miserable. The will of God, in effect, is God himself and therefore we must ever submit and obey it; we must always bow down and adore his sacred will.

Consider 3rdly, that the will of God ought to be the Christian’s rule in all things. In all our deliberations, whether with regard to temporals or spirituals, we ought first to consult the holy will of God, crying out to him with the convert, St. Paul, Acts ix. 6, 'Lord what wilt thou have me to do?' And this with a sincere desire to know and a perfect readiness of mind to follow his will in whatever way he is pleased to order or direct - not seeking that his will should bend to ours, but that ours may ever conform to his. And as in all our doings we must, to the best of our knowledge and power, follow the will of God, so, in all our sufferings, we must resign and submit ourselves to his blessed will, assuring ourselves that nothing happens to us in this kind but by the appointment of heaven, and that all comes from the hand of him who knows what is best; because he is infinitely wise, and sends what is for the best; because he is infinitely good, and good to us.

Conclude ever to recite this third petition of the Lord’s prayer, with these dispositions of the love of God and of the holy will, and of a perfect conformity in all things to his holy will. We read of a servant of God (Gregory Lopez) that for some years, at every breath, repeated this petition, 'Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!' O that we could be always in the like happy sentiments.

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