Wednesday, September 06, 2006

fragments from "Divine Intimacy" by Fr Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen OCD

PRESENCE OF GOD-O my God, give me a grateful heart, that I may sing Your praises forever.

1. Incapable as we are of paying our debts to God according to justice, we should at least try to supply for them by our gratitude. Even the poorest beggar, having nothing to give in return for the alms he has received, can always acknowledge a kindness by showing gratitude to his benefactor. This is our position in regard to God: we have nothing of our own; all that we are and have comes from Him, and in return for His infinite generosity, we can do nothing but use His gifts to express our gratitude to Him. "In all things give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you all"Thes 5, 18 God who showers blessings upon us with infinite generosity, has a perfect tight to expect gratitude from us. Yet this, a natural need of a humble, delicate soul, is a duty so often neglected even by good people, even by those who have received the most favours from God. Jesus complained of this neglect when only one of the ten lepers whom He had cured returned to thank Him: "And where are the nine? Is there no one found to return and give glory to God, but this stranger?"Luke 17; 17,18It is significant that the nine ungrateful ones were the nine Jews has called to be His close friends, those upon whom He has bestowed a privilaged vocation, are the very ones who show Him the least gratitude. It is almost as thought the multiplicity of the graces which they have received dulls their sensitiveness to the divine gifts; it seems they no longer regard the greatness of these gifts, nor the fact that they are totally gratuitous; gratitude seems to have dried up in their hearts. "Oh!" exclaims St. Teresa, "how the very greatness of His favours condemns those who are ungrateful!"Exclamaition of the soul to God - St Teresa of Jesus. Ingratitude always redounds to the disadvantages of the soul. Let us think, for example, of the irreparable loss of the nine lepers who, not returning to give thanks for the healing they had received, forefeited the joy the one grateful leper had of hearing Jesus say: Their want of gratitude deprived them of health of soul, a grace immeasurably more precious than the health of the body.

....Thanks be to You, O eternal, most high Trinity! I am she who is not and You are He who is. Glorify Yourself by en`bling me to praise You. Pardon me, O Father, pardon me who am miserable, and ungrateful to You for the immense benefits I have received. I confess that Your goodness has preserved me, Your spouse, although because of my many defects I have often been unfaithul to You" (St Catherine of Siena").