Presence of God – Grant Lord, that my heart may ever be turned toward heaven where You await me.
[Today] is like a prolongation of the Feast of the Ascencion …. which the Apostles must have experienced during the time between the departure of Jesus and the descent of the Holy Spirit: “Hear, O Lord, my voice calling to You…. I seek Your face, O Lord, do not hide Your face from me.” As on the day of the Ascension, the eyes of the Apostles are turned toward heaven, where they saw their Master disappear, and their hearts sigh after Him. As long as we are on our earthly pilgrimage, far from God, He must be the constant yearning of our souls. But we should not remain idle while we are waiting to go to our fatherland. In … 1 Peter 4:7-11, Peter teaches us what we must do to make our life on earth a real preparation for our meeting with God: “Watch in prayers. But before all things, have a constant mutual charity among yourselves.” This is exactly what the Apostles did as they waited for the Holy Spirit: together in the Cenacle they were persevering in prayer in the unity of fraternal love. God does not look with favor on the prayers and sacrifices of one who does not love his neighbor — no matter who he may be — with sincere benevolence. Jesus has expressly said: “If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath anything against thee; leave there thy offering … and go first to be reconciled to thy brother” (Matthew 5:23, 24). Prayer alone will not suffice to draw down divine graces, nor will it acquire eternal life for us. Fraternal charity, the surest pledge of the sincerity of our love for God, is an absolute requisite. The Holy Spirit, who is the spirit of charity, who is substantial love, cannot enter a heart which is narrow and mean in its relations with its neighbor; lack of charity is one of the greatest obstacles to His action, because it is directly opposed to His essence. Just as water paralyzes the action of fire, so does lack of charity paralyze the action of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, as long as we live on earth, we are all liable to fall; all of us, therefore, need pardon; “charity,” says [1 Peter 4:8], “covers a multitude of sins.”
O Lord, make me worthy to give testimony of You, not only in words, but especially in deeds, in spite of the difficulties and sufferings I may encounter. The Apostles gave testimony of You to the extent of facing death for love of You; grant that I may give testimony of You at least by a life worthy of You.
To give testimony of You, O Lord, “I would travel the world over to preach Your name, O my Beloved, and raise on heathen soil the glorious standard of the Cross! One mission alone would not satisfy my longings. I would spread the Gospel in all parts of the world, even in the farthest isles. I would be a missionary, but not for a few years only. Were it possible, I should wish to have been one from the world’s creation and to remain one till the end of time. But the greatest of all my desires is to win the martyr’s palm ….
“When I think of the fearful torments awaiting Christians at the time of Antichrist, my heart thrills within me and I wish that these torments could be reserved for me. Open, O Jesus, the book of life in which are written the deeds of all Your saints; each one of those deeds I long to accomplish for You…. Great deeds are forbidden me; I can neither preach the Gospel nor shed my blood … but what does it matter? My brothers labor in my stead while … I remain close to the throne and love You for all those who are in the strife” (cf. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Story of a Soul 13).
Yes, O Lord, grant me a true love, so that I may always be faithful to You in little things, since it is not given me to perform great ones. Grant especially that I may always give You the testimony of a sincere profession of faith, of behavior which is wholly conformed to Your law, no matter where or in what circumstance I may be, never letting myself deviate through human respect.
Note from Dan: This post on waiting 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 waiting: L’Ascension (The Ascension), Gustave Doré, 1879, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less, published in the US prior to 1 January 1923, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.