Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost. Amen.
By: Sister Mary Philip
God my Father
" I will arise and go to my father" (St. Luke xv. 18).
No earthly father ever loved his child with a love which will even bear comparison with that of God's love for me, His child. I am His own. He has " called me by my name," nay He has " made me and fashioned me," and therefore He understands me through and through. He knows all the circumstances of my life—all the various phases through which I have passed and which have made me what I now am-and knowing all, He understands all. He can make allowances where others see no excuse, and as He loves me with an infinite love, He uses His knowledge to the utmost in my favour.
O God my Father, in whom can I trust as I can trust in Thee, Who knowest all,
seest all, understandest all? Give me the heartfelt love of a child towards Thee, Who, being my God and Creator, art at the same time my most tender Father and Friend.
Am I now, to-day, giving God the love of a child? Do I turn to Him in joy, in sorrow, in disappointment? Do I take all things from His hands, the loving hands of my Father, Who cares with an infinite tenderness for the good of His child? If so, why am I troubled over the circumstances of my daily life? Why do I hesitate when He shows me His Will and asks me to do it? My God, my Father, what can I say to Thee ! Too late, far too late, have I known Thee and loved Thee ; yet, late as it is, to-day at least I can say, " I will arise and go to my Father." I will trust Him with all that concerns me : my body and my soul, my life and my death, my trials, my temptations, my perplexities and uncertainties. He will care for all I love, for all who have any claim on me, for He is m}' Father and I am His child.
God wants my love. No one else can give Him this love if I refuse it to Him. My Father asks something of me, His child. Am I going to hold back ? He says to me,
" My child, give Me thy heart." It is my one treasure, the one thing I can give Him
that will please Him. Is He to turn away sad because of my refusal—He, my Father !
O most tender Father, take, take all from, me. I give Thee my heart, my love, my
affections. Give me Thy love and Thy grace.
" I have called you friends" (St. John, xv 15).
Our Lord chooses His own friends. He has chosen me. " You have not chosen Me," He says, " but I have chosen you." What reason this gives me for full love and
confidence. He chose me knowing perfectly all about me; and He is not fickle as so many earthly friends are, He is" Jesus Christ, yesterday, to-day, and the same for ever" (Heb, xiii.). How, knowing all, He can have chosen me, it is impossible for me to understand, but the very mystery of it is sunshine
to my heart.
"How Thou canst think so well of us,
Yet be the God Thou art,
Is darkness to my intellect,
But sunshine to my heart."
How does Our Lord show His friendship? He is " faithful and true." He never misunderstands, never misinterprets my words or my actions, never shows me anything but infinite patience and love. He is continually sending me gifts and messages. He visits me daily Himself. He waits hour by hour for me to visit Him. Sometimes He asks me to help Him to carry His Cross, but He never leaves me to do so alone. He considers me in all the circumstances of my life. He never suffers me to be tried above that which I am able to bear. In all things He shows me nothing but love, disguised sometimes it is true, but if I have faith in Him the veil is almost a transparent one. "Such is my Beloved, and He is my Friend."
On my side, how do I treat my Friend? Do I willfully refuse to do that which I know
He is asking of me? What gifts do I make Him ? Do I love Him in " deed and in
truth," or is my service mere lip-service? How often do I visit my Friend, how much
time do I give Him in the day?
O Christ my Lord, my true and faithful Friend,
Let me be a real friend of Thine.
Grant that I may give Thee love for love.
Grant that, loving Thee above all things and
in all things, I may at last be united to
Thee for ever in heaven.
" I need Thee, gracious Jesus,
I need a friend like Thee,
A friend to soothe and sympathize,
A friend to care for me."
"I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Paraclete that He may abide with you for ever'' (St. John xiv. 16).
The Holy Ghost is the Love of the Father and the Son. He is the Spirit of Love. There is nothing the human heart craves for as it does for love. Our desire, then, should be to be filled with the Holy Spirit. If we are in the state of grace, the Holy Ghost abides with us : " Know ye not that ye are the temples of the Holy Spirit?" (i Cor. iii.). Without this Guest of our souls we are restless and unhappy, for, as St. Augustine tells us, " Our hearts are made for Thee, O God, and they can never be at rest until they rest in Thee." This is why the Holy Ghost is called by Holy Church
"True Rest in toil and sweat.
Refreshment in excess of heat,
And Solace in our grief."
The Holy Ghost is called the Paraclete, that is the Comforter. His special mission is
to enlighten, teach, and comfort the soul. If I ask Him, He will enlighten me to know
His Will, and will teach me how to accomplish it in spite of all difficulties. Then, too, He is ever near to console and strengthen me in all my trials and anxieties. The Hoi}'
Ghost comes to us first at our Baptism, then in a very special way in the Sacrament of Confirmation, and He comes "to abide with us for ever." At all times, in all difficulties, in all my doubts and fears, I can count on the guidance of the Holy Spirit Who dwells within me.
Am I faithful to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit? St Paul says: "Grieve not the Holy Spirit within you." Is my conduct ever a source of displeasure to my Heavenly Guest? Do I beg His light and guidance before every important action that I do, and
before every choice that I make? Do I ask Him to guide me into the path along which He wishes me to tread? O Holy Spirit of God, take possession of me wholly. Guide me, enlighten me, instruct me. Give me the grace never to be deaf to
Thy warnings, never to leave Thy inspirations unnoticed and unattended to, but make me so faithful to Thee that even in small things I may never swerve from Thy
"Dear Paraclete! how hast Thou waited,
While our hearts were slowly turned I
How often has Thy love been slighted,
While for us it grieved and burned I
Now if our hearts do not deceive us,
We would take Thee for our Lord !
O dearest Spirit ! make us faithful
To Thy least and lightest word."