The Rule, Article 4

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Seek God Above All Things

From the writings of Saint Paschal Baylon

Since God desired greatly to give us what is good, therefore, in all your petitions believe firmly that God will grant what you ask for. But do not ask for anything unless God has moved you to ask. He is more disposed to hear your petitions than you are to make them. He is always waiting for you to ask. Therefore, let it be God’s will rather than your own need that urges you to ask since He wishes to grant your request. You should always offer your prayers through the merits of the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. Train your soul by persistent and vigorous acts to seek entirely what God wishes, removing from your will every blessing and advantage that can accrue to you from such a prayer.

Indeed, meditate well on this: Seek God above all things. It is right for you to seek God before and above everything else, because the majesty of God wishes you to receive what you ask for. This will also make you more ready to serve God and will enable you to love Him more perfectly.

Let all your prayers be motivated by this intention and when you pray, do so out of love and because of love, in season and out of season. Detach your heart from things of this world and consider that there is nothing else in this world except you and God alone. Never, not even for a brief moment, turn your heart from God. Let your thinking be simple and lowly; always, without wearying, focus your attention on what is above you, and let the love of God be like oil poured over everything.

To thank God is nothing else than an internal act of the soul whereby the recipient of a heavenly blessing recognizes the infinite God as master of the universe and source of every blessing. He rejoices at God’s infinite glory because of being judged worthy of such a gift. He is consequently more ready to love and serve God the give of all good things.

Whenever you receive some gift from the Lord, offer yourself to Him entirely with joy and gladness. Humble and despise yourself; renounce your own will so that you can devote yourself body and soul to His service. Make frequent, even countless, acts of thanksgiving, rejoicing in God’s power and goodness. He grants you favors and blessing for which you now render Him thanks. Would you make your thanksgiving pleasing to God, then first humble yourself, deny and belittle yourself in His sight.

Acknowledge your need and wretchedness so that you may realize that all you have comes from God’s generosity. Rejoice and exult that you have been enriched with graces and blessings. Place little value on the good or advantage to yourself in order to serve God more faithfully.

Saint Paschal Baylon feast day is May 17.

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