Glory to God
Presence of God – I unite myself in spirit to the angelic choir singing the glory of the Lord over the fields of Bethlehem.
The Word was made flesh for our salvation and happiness. However, the primary end of the Incarnation is God’s glory, which is the end of all His works. He, the one absolute good, cannot will anything apart from His glory. By sending His only Son to save men, He wished to glorify His infinite goodness, to glorify Himself in our salvation, accomplished by means of this supreme act of His infinitely merciful love. The work of creation glorifies God in His wisdom and omnipotence; the work of the Incarnation glorifies Him in His charity. And as God could not manifest greater mercy and charity than by giving His Son for our salvation, so none of His works can give Him greater glory than the Incarnation of the Word. Hence, the angels sang at the birth of the Redeemer, “Glory to God in the highest!” The Church takes up this hymn and amplifies it in the Gloria which is sung in every feast-day Mass; “We praise You, we bless You, we glorify You, we give You thanks for Your great glory.” At no time more than at Christmas do we feel the need of repeating this song, more with our heart than with our lips. The soul feels more than ever incited to praise its God, so immense, so great, so beautiful, but also so good, so merciful, so full of charity. Song does not suffice: the soul would wish to be transformed into an incessant “praise of His glory.”
Editor’s Note: In honor of today’s Feast of the Holy Innocents, we present a paragraph adapted from the second meditation: “The Holy Innocents, ‘the first tender buds of the Church,’ demonstrated that the voice of innocence is a hymn of glory to God, like that of the angels: ‘On the lips of children and of babes you have found perfect praise to foil your enemy!’ (cf Psalm 8:3). But, this hymn is much more powerful and eloquent when united to the sacrifice of their blood: ‘The martyred Innocents confessed God’s glory, not in word but by their death’ (Roman Breviary). May our lives also be a hymn of praise to God ‘not by words, but by works.”
“May my voice loudly resound: with attentive mind may I contemplate You, my God, and with my words sing Your praises; it is right that a creature praise its Creator, for You created and redeemed us that we might praise You, although You do not need our praise. You are incomprehensible Power and have no need of anyone, but are sufficient in Yourself. You are great, O Lord, my God, Your power is great and the works of Your wisdom are without number. You are great, O Lord, my God, and worthy of all praise. May my soul love You, my tongue praise You, my hand write of You, and may my whole soul be occupied in these holy exercises. Satisfy me ever with this sweet food, so that I may praise You with a mighty voice, with all my heart and all my powers, singing Your praise sweetly, joyfully, and fervently, O God!
“‘O my soul, bless the Lord, and let all that is within me bless His holy Name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and never forget His innumerable favors!’ Let us praise this God whom the angels praise, before whom the Dominations prostrate to adore, who is feared by the Powers and in whose honor the Cherubim and Seraphim continually sing: Holy! Holy! Holy! Let us join our voices to those of the angels and saints, and let us praise the Lord with the fullness of our powers” (St. Augustine).
Yes, my God, my Redeemer, and my Savior, I desire to praise You eternally, and until I go to praise Your glory with the angels and saints in heaven, I want to begin to praise You here below, not only with my tongue, but with my deeds, with my whole life. “In order to be a praise of glory, I must love You with a pure, disinterested love, without seeking myself in the sweetness of Your love; I must love You above all Your gifts. Now, how shall I desire and effectively will good to You, except by fulfilling Your will, since this will orders all things for Your greater glory? I ought, therefore, to surrender myself completely, blindly, to that will, so that I cannot possibly will anything but what You will” (Elizabeth of the Trinity, First Retreat, 10). When Your will or Your laws ask me to sacrifice myself for love of You and for Your glory, grant that I may never shrink from it, but be ever ready to give myself wholly, even to the supreme sacrifice of my life.
Note from Dan: This post on Glory to God 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: Schlägl (Upper Austria). Monastery church – Stained glass windows (1893) in the nave: Angel with the Latin inscription GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO ET IN TERRA PAX (Glory to God [in the highest] and peace on earth), Wolfgang Sauber, 28 June 2013 own work, CCA-SA, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.