“Peace, because we have hoped in Thee.”
He that seeks peace in creatures will never find it, because no creatures are fitted for giving satisfaction to the heart. God has created man for Himself, who is the Infinite Good; wherefore, God alone can content him.
Hence it comes that many persons, though loaded with riches, honors and earthly pleasures, are never satisfied; they are ever seeking for more honors, more possessions, more amusements. And however many they obtain, they are always restless and never enjoy a day of true peace.
“Delight in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thy heart” (Ps. 36:4). When any person delights only in God and seeks nothing but God, God Himself will take care to satisfy all the desires of his heart, and then he will attain the happy state of those souls who desire nothing but to please God.
Senseless are they who say, “Happy is he who can employ himself as he likes, who can command others, who can take what pleasures he pleases.” It is madness; he alone is happy who loves God, who says that God alone is sufficient for him. Experience shows clearly that multitudes of persons who are called fortunate by men of the world, because they are raised up to the possession of great riches and great dignities, live a miserable life and never find rest.
“The peace of God surpasseth all understanding” (Philip. 4:17). Oh, how the peace which the Lord gives to those who love Him exceeds all the delights which the world can give! “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is sweet” (Ps. 33:9). O men of the world, why will ye despise the life of the Saints without having ever known it? Try it, leave your worldly vanities, give yourselves to God, and you shall see how well He knows how to comfort you, more than all the greatness and delights of this world.
It is true that even the just suffer great troubles in this life, but they, resigning themselves to the will of God, never lose their peace. The lovers of the world seem now at times joyful, now at time sad, but in truth, they are ever restless and in a state of storms.
On the other hand, the lovers of God are superior to all adversity and to the changes of this world, and therefore they live in uniform tranquility. See how the celebrated Cardinal Petrucci describes a souls that is wholly give to God:
“It beholds all creatures around change into a thousand various forms, while within, the depths of its heart, ever united to God, continue without change.”
But he who would live ever united with God and would enjoy a continual peace must drive from his heart everything which is not God and separate himself from all the snares which draw him to the world.
Happy are they for whom God alone is sufficient! O Lord, give me grace, that I may seek nothing but Thee and ask for nothing but to love Thee.
This article is taken from a chapter in The Soul Sanctified which is available from TAN Books.