Blessed are They that Hunger and Thirst after Justice
Presence of God – O Holy Spirit, may I no longer hunger for the things of earth, but for heavenly things alone.
When the Holy Spirit becomes master of a soul and takes entire control of it, He communicates to it an invincible strength which sweeps away and overcomes all obstacles, enabling it to bear all kinds of suffering. As the strong are not easily satisfied, but are always aspiring to greater things, so in the measure in which the Holy Spirit strengthens a soul, He makes ever increasing desires to spring up in it, longings for justice and virtue and sanctity, so ardent and impelling that they may well be called hunger and thirst. Under the influence of the gift of fortitude, the soul hungers and thirsts after justice. This explains how the fourth beatitude corresponds to the gift of fortitude. “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill” (Matthew 5:6). The word justice must be taken in the very broad sense, signifying perfection, sanctity, and a total gift of self to God and to souls; it is in this sense that the Holy Spirit impels the soul, revealing to it ever wider horizons, calling it to ever more perfect works and to an increasingly generous and complete gift of self. Such a soul can no longer reserve anything for itself: the Holy Spirit will not permit it; it must give itself wholly. “The charity of Christ presseth us” (2 Corinthians 5:14), the soul repeats with St. Paul. It is consumed by a burning thirst for God’s will, which it seeks even as the miser searches for gold. It is an ardent thirst for sanctity which will not tolerate the slightest infidelity to grace; the soul always thinks itself to be doing too little for God, and “if it were lawful for it to be destroyed a thousand times for Him it would be comforted” (John of the Cross, Dark Night of the Soul II, 19,3); it has a burning thirst for souls, and continually spends itself for them, without ever sparing itself; it thirsts for God’s glory and has no thought of rest, but is always ready for new sacrifices and labors. Whence comes such courage and zeal? Not from its own strength and energy, as it well knows, but it springs from the power of the Holy Spirit, from trust in Him and docility to His inspirations. The soul can truthfully say: “I can do all things in Him who strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
“O God, ocean of sacred love and sweetness, come and give Yourself to my soul. Grant that I may continually long for You with my whole heart, with absolute desire and burning love, and that I may live in You. O my true supreme joy, may I prefer You to all creatures, and for Your sake, renounce all transitory pleasures!
“O Lord, nourish this starving beggar with the influx of Your divinity and delight me with the desired presence of Your grace. This I long and beg for, so that Your vehement love may penetrate, fill, and transform me into You.
“O loving Redeemer, make me burn with love for You, making no account of myself, and finding my delight in You alone; may I know and enjoy no one but You. O overflowing abyss of the divinity! draw me, and immerse me in You! Take all the love from my heart and apply it to Yourself, so that I may be dead to all other things.
“My soul calls You, and seeks You with indescribable love, O delight of loving embraces! Come, my Beloved, come, You whom I desire above all, that I may possess You within me, and that my soul may embrace You and hold You close! Come into my soul, O sovereign sweetness, and let me taste Your sweetness, and delight and rest in You alone.
“O my Beloved, Beloved of all my desires, let me find You and then hold You and press You close in a spiritual embrace. I desire You, I sigh for You, O eternal Beatitude! Oh! give Yourself to me, unite me closely to You, and inebriate me with the wine of Your love!” (Bl. Louis de Blois).
Note from Dan: This post on the blessings of hungering and thirsting after justice is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.
Art for this post on the blessings of hungering and thirsting after justice: St. John of the Cross, Francisco de Zurbarán, 1656, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.