Ave Maria Meditations
It is a great thing to realize that in order to be saints we have only to be what God made us to be, and to do what God made us to do. If we are clever, then to be clever; if we are not clever, then not to be clever; if we are successful, then to be successful; if not successful, then not to succeed; if in good health, then to be healthy; if sickly, then to be sickly; and so on. Perfect simplicity with regard to ourselves; perfect contentment with everything that comes our way; perfect peace of mind in utter self-forgetfulness.
This becomes easier the more we realize the utter greatness and goodness and allness of God. Then we realize our own utter insignificance and worthlessness and nothingness; a mere squeak of a mouse in the infinity of God. If we see the whole, we shall easily despise the trifles; if we lose ourselves in God, how puny the rest appears!
This is the cure for making too much of little things whether they go right, or whether they go wrong, which is the cause of all our loss of peace of mind. This is the real test of sanctity, that simplicity of trust in God, which is the perfection of human nature. In the end, when life is done and all is over, such a soul is found more precious than one that has shone in many deeds.
First make a great deal of God, forgetting, if we can, at times everything else in His presence. Secondly, make nothing at all of ourselves, whether we are clever or whether we are not, whether we are loved or whether we are not, whether we succeed or whether we do not, whether we get what we desire or do not.
In the midst of all we can rejoice: (a) that we are what He has made us; (b) that those things happen which He wants to happen, (c) that if all the world were to collapse and the very heavens were to fall, there would be still the great, living, loving God.
So, if we want to be saints:
(1) Sit still often in the presence of God, lost in acts of faith, and love, and hope, in acts of praise, and adoration, and thanksgiving.
(2) When the thought of ourselves with our own petty worries creeps in, sit still again in His presence, with acts of humility, and contrition, and oblation, telling Him how small we are, how sorry we are for ourselves, how we would like to be and do better.
(3) When the human heart is hungry, as at times it must be, come again to the feet of God, and fill it with acts of longing for Him and His love and His glory, rather than with the little husks of self-satisfaction; fill it with acts of rejoicing in Him and in His tremendous almightiness, such that nothing in the world really matters anything at all.
PRAY LIKE THIS, and we shall lay the foundation on which sanctity is built.
LIVE LIKE THIS, and sanctity will build itself.
DIE LIKE THIS, and we shall die “good and faithful servants.”
By Archbishop Alban Goodier, S.J.