From Père de Caussade’s “Abandonment to Divine Providence, something lovely for today. My notes are in black italics.
The Will of God in the Present Moment
The present moment is the ambassador of God to declare His mandates. The heart listens and pronounces its “fiat.” Thus the soul advances by all these things and flows out from its centre to its goal. It never stops but sails with every wind. Any and every direction leads equally to the shore of infinity. Everything is a help to it, and is, without exception, an instrument of sanctity.
The one thing necessary can always be found for it in the present moment. It is no longer a choice between prayer and silence, seclusion and society, reading and writing, meditation and cessation of thought, flight from and seeking after spiritual consolations, abundance and dearth, feebleness and health, life and death, but it is all that each moment presents by the will of God.
In this is despoilment, abnegation, renunciation of all things created, either in reality or affectively, in order to retain nothing of self, or for self, to be in all things submissive to the will of God and to please Him; making it our sole satisfaction to sustain the present moment as though there were nothing else to hope for in the world. If all that happens to a soul abandoned to God is all that is necessary for it, then we can understand that nothing can be wanting to it, and that it should never pity itself, for this would be a want of faith and living according to reason and the senses which are never satisfied, as they cannot perceive the sufficiency of grace possessed by the soul.
Each moment, as we make our minute by minute reparation, we children of Mary say, “O my Jesus, it is for love of Thee”, we are making of each moment a sacred offering for love of Him. In this spirit, we trust that nothing is wanting, whatever befalls us, all things work for His good.
And we see all around us in the wreckage of all that was once beautiful but is now tawdry and spoilt, blasphemy against our loving Savior. His name, the only name by which men are saved is constantly used as a sneering curse, mouthed by the vilest creatures. We counteract this with our constant prayer of reparation, “For the love of Thee, my Jesus and for the glory of Thy name!”
To hallow the Name of God, is according to the meaning of the holy Scripture, to recognise His sanctity in all things and to love and adore Him in them. Things, in fact, proceed from the mouth of God like words. That which God does at each moment is a divine thought expressed by a created thing, therefore all those things by which He intimates His will to us are so many names and words by which He makes known His wishes. His will is unity and has but one name, unknown, and ineffable; but it is infinitely diverse in its effects, which are, as it were, so many different characters which it assumes.
To hallow the Name of God is to know, to adore, and to love the ineffable Being whom this name designates. It is also to know, to adore and to love His adorable will at every moment and in all its decrees, regarding them all as so many veils, shadows and names of this holy and everlasting will. It is holy in all its works, holy in all its words, holy in all its diverse characters, holy in all the names it bears.
Job and the Name of God
It was for this reason that Job blessed the name of God in his utter desolation. Instead of looking upon his condition as ruin, he called it the name of God and by blessing it he protested that the divine will under whatever name or form it might appear, even though expressed by the most terrible catastrophes, was holy. David also blessed it at all times, and in all places. It is then, by this continual recognition of the will of God as manifested and revealed in all things, that He reigns in us, that His will is done on earth as it is in Heaven, and that our souls obtain nourishment.
The Our Father – Abandonment to the Divine Will
The whole matter of that incomparable prayer prescribed by Jesus Christ is comprised and contained in abandonment to the divine will. Many times daily it is recited vocally by the command of God and of Holy Church, but we repeat it at every moment in the centre of our hearts when we love to do, or to suffer whatever this holy will ordains. That which takes time to repeat in words, the heart pronounces at every moment, and it is in this way that simple souls are called to bless God.
Nevertheless they cannot bless Him as much as they desire, and this inability is a subject of grief to them; so true is it that by the very means that seem like privations, God bestows graces and favours on faithful souls. To enrich the soul at the expense of the senses, filling it by so much the more as they experience the more terrible emptiness, is a secret of the divine wisdom.
The Will of God in Every Moment
The events of every moment bear the impress of the will of God, and of His adorable Name. How holy is this name! It is right, therefore, to bless it, to treat it as a kind of sacrament which by its own virtue sanctifies those souls which place no obstacles in its way. Everything bearing the impress of this august Name should be held in the most profound veneration. It is a divine manna from Heaven, and imparts a constant increase of grace. It is the reign of holiness in the soul, the bread of angels eaten on earth as well as in Heaven.
We can no longer consider our moments as trifles since in them is a whole kingdom of sanctity and food for angels. “Yes, Lord, may your kingdom come in my heart to sanctify it, to nourish it, to purify it, and to render it victorious over all its enemies. Moment most precious! How insignificant in the eyes of the vulgar, but how great in those enlightened by faith. If it is great also in the eyes of my Father who is in Heaven, how can I regard it as insignificant? All that comes from His hand is essentially good and bears the impress of its origin.”
This morning, as I read John 13, in which Saint John refers to himself, “there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.” This was in the context of determining who was the betrayer of Jesus. The goal of these simple exercises is to rest on the bosom of Our Lord, aware of the beating of His Sacred Heart, offering each moment to Him, trusting in Him. In this way, we are not confused or deceived by the Judases posing as Apostles.
As the Angel of peace enjoins us, ‘Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will thus draw down peace … Above all, accept and bear with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you.’
Many of us are not able to attend Mass and receive Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament each morning, but we can at least, make a spiritual Mass and Holy Communion daily. Again, as the Angel enjoins,
‘Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men! Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.’
Let us resolve not to ever waste a single moment, but to consecrate each moment to Him, never straying from His Sacred Heart. “O my Jesus! It is for love of Thee!”
He has not left us orphans now any more than He did in His Passion. Look to Mary, for she is “the seat of mercy, of goodness and of pardon, and the certain door by which we are to enter Heaven.”
The quotations from Père de Caussade: “Abandonment to Divine Providence: Including ‘Spiritual Counsels of Père de Caussade’ and ‘Letters on the Practice of Abandonment’ “ , Ramiere translation, Catholic Way)
‘O Jesus, it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.’
† Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!