Ave Maria Meditations
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will.” (Lk. 2:14)
At Bethlehem the angels announced two things: Glory to God and peace to men; the one corresponds to the other. No one glorifies God as much as that little Babe lying on the straw. He alone, being the eternal Word, can give God the perfect, infinite praise that is worthy of Him. And no one more than Jesus, our Savior, brings peace to men; making reparation for sin, He reconciles man with his Creator and establishes a new covenant between them: the Creator will become Father, and man, will become a son.
Something similar is verified in our daily life. Those who obey God’s law enjoy peace; observing the divine law they also glorify God. The glory of God corresponds perfectly to the peace of men. But we are treating of that peace which comes only from Jesus, from His grace, peace which we will seek in vain elsewhere.
Peace is the tranquility of order. Order is established by the law and will of God. Those who respect this order fully possess the plenitude of interior peace; those who depart from it, even in a slight degree, lose their peace in proportion to their deviation from it. Peace is the refreshment and repose of the soul in the midst of the struggles and sorrows of life, but this is not the only reason for which we should try to obtain and possess it. We should desire it above all because it gives glory to God.
The angels promised peace “to men of good will”. Our will is “good” when it is upright, docile and resolute. It is upright when it is sincerely and entirely oriented toward good; docile when it is always ready to follow every indication of God’s will; resolute when it is prompt to adhere to the will of God, even though difficulties and obstacles arise, and sacrifices are required. The Lord is continually urging us to generosity and abnegation in all the circumstances of life, even the smallest ones. We must give ourselves to God without hesitation, certain that if God asks anything of us, He will also give us the strength to carry out His wishes. Such was the conduct of the shepherds; as soon as they heard the message of the angel, they left all, their flocks and their rest, and “came with haste [to Bethlehem] where they found … the Infant lying in the manger” (Lk. 2:16). They were the first to find Jesus and to taste His peace.
Time passes and does not return. God has assigned to each of us a definite time in which to fulfill His divine plan for our soul; we have only this time and shall have no more. Time ill spent is lost forever. Our life is made up of this uninterrupted, continual flow of time, which never returns. In eternity, on the contrary, time will be no more; we shall be established forever in that degree of love and glory (that we have attained at life’s end). If we possess only a slight degree of love, that is all we shall have throughout eternity. No further progress will be possible when time has ended.
Therefore, while we have time, let us work good to all men. We must give every moment its full amount of love, and make each passing moment eternal, by giving it value for eternity, This is the best way to use the time given us by God. Charity allows us to adhere to God’s will with submission and love and thus at the close of life we shall have realized God’s plan for our soul; we shall have reached the degree of love which God expects from each one of us and with which we shall love and glorify Him for all eternity.
(Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.)
Look at Christ Jesus. All His life is consecrated to the glory of His Father Whose will He always accomplishes: “I seek not My own will but the will of Him that sent me”(Jn.5:30, 6:38). He seeks only that. At the moment of achieving His life here below, He says to His Father that He has fulfilled His mission: “I have glorified Thee on the earth” (Jn 17:4). The desire of His Divine Heart is that we too should seek the glory of His Father.
(Blessed Columba Marmion)
Gloria in altissimis Deo, et super terram pax in hominibus bonae voluntatis.
Gloria in excelsis Deo
et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis
Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam
Domine Deus, Rex caelestis, Deus Pater omnipotens
Domine fili unigenite, Jesu Christe
Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius patris
Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis
Qui tollis peccata mundi suscipe deprecationem nostram
Qui sedes ad dexteram patris miserere nobis
Quoniam tu solus sanctus
Tu solus Dominus
Tu solus Altissimus, Jesu Christe
Cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris.
Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to people of good will
We praise you
We bless you
We adore you
We glorify you
We give thanks to you for your great glory
Lord God, Heavenly King, God Almighty Father
Lord Only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father
You who take away the sins of the world have mercy on us
You who take away the sins of the world hear our prayer
You who sit at the Father’s right hand, have mercy on us
For you alone are holy
You alone, Lord
You alone the Most High, Jesus Christ
With the Holy Spirit in the glory of God the Father.