MEDITATION OF THE DAY
Honoring the Carpenter’s Son
Love ought to manifest itself more by deeds than by words. Love consists in a mutual communication between the two persons. That is, the one who loves gives and communicates to the beloved what he or she has, or a part of what one has or can have; and the beloved in return does the same to the lover. Thus, if the one has knowledge, one gives it to the other who does not; and similarly in regard to honors or riches. Each shares with the other.
The first prelude is to see myself as standing before God our Lord, and also before the angels and saints, who are interceding for me. The second prelude is to ask for what I desire. Here it will be to ask for interior knowledge of all the great good I have received, in order that, stirred to profound gratitude, I may become able to love and serve the divine majesty in all things.
I will call back into my memory the gifts I have received—my creation, redemption, and other gifts particular to myself. I will ponder with deep affection how much God our Lord has done for me, and how much he has given me of what he possesses, and consequently how he, the same Lord, desires to give me even his very self, in accordance with his divine design.
Then I will reflect on myself, and consider what I on my part ought in all reason and justice to offer and give to the divine majesty, namely, all my possessions, and myself along with them. I will speak as one making an offering with deep affection, and say: “Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and all my will—all that I have and possess. You, Lord, have given all that to me. I now give it back to you, O Lord. All of it is yours. Dispose of it according to your will. Give me love of yourself along with your grace, for that is enough for me.”
Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Saint Ignatius of Loyola († 1556) was the founder of the Society of Jesus. [From The Spiritual Excercises of Saint Ignatius, George E. Ganss, s.j. © 1992, Boston College, Institute of Jesuit Studies, Chestnut Hill, MA. All rights reserved.]