Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
When we are young and in love with somebody or something, we are usually zealous, generous, and devoted. Often that fire cools and becomes but an ember, or dies out completely. In the first reading, God tells his people, “I remember the devotion of your youth.” Here the implication is that God’s people have lost their love for him. Consider how that affects His Heart.
At the same time, the fire of God’s love for us is always blazing in his Heart. He desires the covenant with his people to be fulfilled faithfully and mutually. When faced with our infidelity to our Maker and Redeemer, all we can exclaim are the words of the psalmist, “How precious is your mercy, O God!” When specifically have we witnessed God’s faithfulness to us? It is important to have touchstones of this relationship to turn to, remember, and treasure. When you recognize these moments, the Lord’s words ring true: “…blessed are your eyes, because they see.”
Grace: An intimate knowledge of the many blessings received, that filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty.
Reflection: In the meditation upon sin, we made reference to Dante’s vision of hell, a cold, desolate place where the fire of love has been extinguished and all lies in a spiritual torpor. This is the perfect image of the heart grown cold to the stirrings of love which God places within it. At the opposite end of Dante’s journey lies a vision that perfectly encapsulates the final meditation of the Spiritual Exercises, the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love. From the lowest reaches of the spiritual universe, Dante ascends to the heights of heaven, where he views “the love that moves the sun and the other stars.” At the heart of the universe lives the Trinitarian God, whose perfect love draws all being into an ordered symphony of praise. Dante feels himself drawn into this harmonic vision through the enflaming of his passions and desires. No one with eyes to see can sit impassively at the vision of God’s love. From the disordered state in which Dante had fallen at the beginning of the poem, he becomes progressively cleansed of his disordered affections through the grace of God and the intercession of Beatrice until finally he is able to pass through the heavens and stand in the presence of God. But notice that Dante only sees God’s depths after he has been interiorly transformed.