MEDITATION OF THE DAY
All for the Bridegroom
Ascetical practices are a form of sacrifice, but they are never enough for a deeper spiritual life…. They may strengthen spiritual discipline, but this is too narrow a view of sacrifice, missing its essential purpose. Self-denying mortifications can be managed simply by will power alone and lack love, without which sacrifice falsifies its name. What our crucified Lord Jesus would prefer from us is something more serious in love than the customary renunciations that are part of any good life. He wants sacrificial acts in the inner life that can unleash a fire within the undercurrents of our soul. He desires us to step over the edge, as it were, in offering ourselves to him in the privacy of interior prayer. He waits for bold, irreversible acts of surrender in prayer that cannot be taken back, like marriage vows, dissolvable only in death, yet repeated continually in life. Every intense sacrificial offering of this kind stretches love into the buried depths of the soul. These acts inflame our soul’s passion for God; afterward, inevitably, they compel actions of generosity for others….
All radical love for God may hide its deeper mystery within such private offerings made in the quiet of prayer. Unknown but to God himself, these acts pronounce a willingness to sacrifice everything for love of him as our beloved Lord and God.
Father Donald Haggerty
Father Haggerty, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is currently serving at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. / From Contemplative Enigmas: Insights and Aid on the Path to Deeper Prayer. © 2020, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, CA. www.ignatius.com. Used with permission.