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The Divine Invitation

November 24, 2016 by  
Filed under Carmelite Spirituality, Dan Burke, Divine Intimacy, Gratitude

The Divine Invitation

 

Presence of God – O my God, give me the sovereign grace to respond to all Your invitations with generosity.

MEDITATION

(Matthew 22:2-14) outlines the sad story—so true even today—of human ingratitude which rejects God’s mercy and is indifferent to His gifts and invitations.

“The kingdom of heaven is likened to a king, who made a marriage for his son, and he sent his servants to call them that were invited to the marriage; and they would not come.” The king is God the Father, the son is the eternal Word who, becoming incarnate, espoused human nature in order to redeem and sanctify it. God invites all men to the great banquet of the divine nuptials at which they will find their salvation; but submerged in the materialism of earthly things, they reject the invitation and the messengers. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee” (Matthew 23:37), will one day be the lament of the Son of God as He denounces before the world, not only the obstinate resistance of the chosen people but also that of all souls who have stubbornly and ungratefully rejected His love and His grace. The prophets, St. John the Baptist, and the apostles are the “servants,” the messengers sent by God to call men to the banquet of the Redemption, but they were all taken and killed. They “laid hands on his servants, and having treated them contumeliously, put them to death,” the Gospel says. [The] parable ends there, but unfortunately, human ingratitude has gone much further: not only the servants and messengers were killed, but even God’s very Son. Yet God’s mercy is so great that it cannot be vanquished; He still invites all men to His feast and even offers this divine Son, whom they have killed, to be their Food. The banquet is prepared; Jesus, the divine Lamb has been immolated for the redemption of mankind and, if many fail to accept the invitation, others will be invited. “The marriage indeed is ready, but they that were invited were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as you shall find, call to the marriage.”

We too have been invited. How have we responded to the invitation? Have we not also shown more interest and concern for earthly matters than for the things of God? Have we not been like the men in the parable who “neglected, and went their way, one to his farm, and another to his merchandise?”

COLLOQUY

St Ephrem the Syrian - for post on the Divine Invitation“O Lord, this is what You say to my soul: ‘Why are you so far away from Me, detained by useless pursuits? Why do you not hasten to prepare a beautiful wedding garment? I suffered death to take you for My spouse. I became man for you, to preserve your life from corruption, I preferred your salvation before all My works. I prepared a nuptial couch for you in heaven, and I commanded the angels to serve you. Would you despise Me, your heavenly Spouse? And whom would you prefer to Me, who in My mercy saved the whole human race? What father could give you life as I have? What father or what spouse can love you as much as I?’

“O my God, what shall I answer You?

“Pardon me, save me, O patient, long-suffering Lord! Save me, O Christ, Son of God, who alone are without sin! Grant that my heart may have no desire but to respond to Your invitations, and that with the help of Your grace, I may always do Your will, and be prompt and willing to carry out Your orders, so that, with the talents I have received from You, I may be able to trade and acquire the good things of Your kingdom. Grant that I may praise You trustfully and tell You joyfully when I see You: ‘I am blessed because You have come to clothe me with the worthy nuptial garment which Your grace has purchased for me.’

“I shall light the lamp, O Christ, given to me by Your grace and bounty. I shall meet You joyfully, blessing, praising, and glorifying You, O my immortal Spouse” (St. Ephrem).

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Note from Dan: This post on Supernatural Obedience 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: Detail of Photo d'une icône roumaine de St Ephrem le Syrien (diacre et docteur de l'Eglise dit “La Harpe de l'Esprit” ou encore “La cithare de Marie”), icône écrite par une sœur orthodoxe près d'Oradea en avril 2005, prise de vue par Geoffroy Blanc (le propriétaire de l'icône) [Photo of a Romanian icon of St Ephrem the Syrian (Deacon and Doctor of the Church said,The Harp of the [Holy] Spirit” or “The zither of Mary”), written by an Orthodox icon sister near Oradea in April 2005, shot by Geoffrey White (the owner of the icon)]; Troubageoff, 7 June 2006, CCA-SA 1.0 Generic, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.

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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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  • Jeanette

    Re: “Why do you not hasten to prepare a beautiful wedding garment?”

    We should hasten to prepare our own wedding garment before we arrive at Heaven’s door. Will it be virtuously adorned with exquisite diamonds of a pure, mature love, the rich emeralds of unfailing faith, and perfect pearls of an expectant hope?

  • Mary Therese

    Beautiful meditation to begin this Thanksgiving Day! Thank you Dan. I only pray I can remember and hold this in my heart for more than a minute past my prayer time. I am grateful for the work you do here at CSD–thank you all.

  • Patricia

    Thanksgiving began as gratitude for surviving the winter as a pilgrim. Later it was instituted as a national day set aside for the purpose of giving thanks to God. Abraham Lincoln got it right when he stated:”They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience.”

    His words ring true today and we need to remember that this attitude of gratitude is the very foundation of asking God to bless America.

    In more recent times, it has become a more secular day – a jump start on Black Friday or a day for family. At least we are still holding on to the cohesiveness of family, a very good value in this day.

    But who is family more, who knows us more intimately, who loves us more than our Father and Creator and our eternal heavenly spouse in the family community of the Most Holy Trinity?

    • LizEst

      Actually, America’s first Thanksgiving was, contrary to popular belief, held in Florida, many years before the celebration in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Here is a link that might help: https://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/americas-first-thanksgiving-was-in-florida-seriously.-it-was There are many other articles (and at least one book) written about this as well. Thanks for bringing this up and allowing us to highlight the Catholic aspect of that which has been covered over by “history”. God bless you, Patricia…and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

      • marybernadette

        Thank you for this information, Liz. I researched the “first thanksgiving” and,of course, it was in Florida, by Spanish Catholics and it is thought it may have been earlier with French pilgrims. I knew there could be “bias: depending on who writes the “history” books.

  • marybernadette

    Have you heard of “Squanto” a native American Indian who was a Catholic and who “saved the pilgrims” this is according to Theologian, Dr. Taylor Marshall. You can check this out by going to “drtaylormarshallsquanto”where he has a short video about him.
    Happy Thanksgiving to our American friends, from Canada.

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