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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Present Moment Reveals Coming of God’s Kingdom: Abandonment XIX

September 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Detachment

s_ caterina da siena 3The present moment is like an ambassador who declares the will of God. The heart must ever answer, “Let it be so.” Then the soul will go steadily on by all means towards its target and goal – never pausing in its course, spreading its sails to all winds. All routes and methods advance it equally in its journey toward the great sea, the infinite. Everything becomes an instrument of sanctification. The soul always finds the “one thing needful” in the present moment.

It is no longer a matter of either prayer or silence, privacy or conversation with others, reading or writing, thinking or abandonment of thought, seeking spirituality or avoiding overconcern with it, abundance or want, illness or health, life or death; the one thing needful is simply what comes to the soul each moment by the will of God. This includes the stripping, the self-denial, the renunciation of earthly things, in order that the soul may be nothing in itself or live for itself, but may live wholly by God's will, and at His good pleasure content itself with the duty of the present moment, as though that were the one thing in the whole world.

If whatever comes to such a surrendered soul is “the one thing needful,” we see clearly that we can lack nothing and should never complain. If we murmur, we lack faith and are living by reason and the sense which, failing to recognize the sufficiency of grace, are always discontented.

To hallow the name of God is, in the language of Scripture, to love Him, adore Him, and to recognize His holiness in all things. Things, like words, do indeed proceed from the mouth of God. The events of each moment are divine thoughts expressed by created objects. Thus, all those things by which He makes His will known to us are so many names, so many words by which He shows us His will. In itself, this will is one, singular; it bears but one unknown, ineffable name; but it is multiplied infinitely in its effects and takes on their names. To hallow the name of God is to know, adore, and love the Ineffable One expressed by this name. It is also to know, adore and love His blessed will at all times, in all its effects, seeing all things as so many veils, shadows and names of this eternally holy will. It is holy in all its works, holy in all its words, holy in all its forms of manifestation, holy in all the names it bears.

It was thus that Job hallowed the name of God. That holy man blessed his terrible desolation which expressed the will of God. He called it not ruin, but one of God's names and blessings, he declared that this divine will, expressed by the most terrible afflictions, was ever holy, no matter what name or form it might bear.

David also hallowed the name of God at all times and in all places. Therefore it is by this continual discovery, by this manifestation, this revelation of the will of God in all things that His kingdom reigns within us, that His will is done on earth as it is in heaven, that He gives us our daily bread.

Surrender to God's will contains the essence of that incomparable prayer which Christ Himself has taught us. We repeat it vocally several times a day according to the teaching of God and His holy Church, but we utter it in the depth of our hearts each moment that we lovingly receive or suffer whatever is ordained by His venerable will. What lips need words and time to express, the heart effectively utters with each beat. Thus simple souls are called to bless God in the depth of their hearts. Yet they sigh over their inability, however, to praise Him as they would like, so true is it that God gives these souls His grace and favor by the very means which seem to deprive them of these blessings. This is the secret of God's wisdom, to impoverish the senses while it enriches the heart, and to fill the heart in proportion to the aching void the senses experience.

Let us learn then to recognize the imprint of the will of God, of His worthy name in the event of each moment. How holy is that name! It is only right therefore to bless and receive it as a form of sacrament which by its only power sanctifies the souls in which it finds no obstacle to its action. Can we do anything other than to infinitely value whatever bears this august name? It is a divine manna which falls from heaven in order to strengthen us continually in grace. It is a kingdom of holiness which comes into the soul. It is the bread of angels which is given on earth as it is in heaven. No moment can be unimportant, since all of them contain treasures of grace and the food of angels.

Yes Lord, let Your kingdom come into my heart to sanctify it, nourish it, to purify it, to render it victorious over all my enemies. How insignificant is this precious moment in the eyes of the world, yet how great to the eye enlightened by faith! And can I call that little which is great in the eye of my Father who reigns in heaven? All that comes from there is most excellent. All that decends from there bears the imprint of its origin.

Father Jean-Pierre de Caussade – Purchase The Joy of Full Surrender

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of SpiritualDirection.com, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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