That Your Joy May Be Full

“Another sublime advantage which we derive from this union with God by grace is that we are made one body and one spirit, not only with the Blessed Trinity, but with the souls of the just. The same Holy Spirit, which, according to St. Augustine, is the bond of union between the Father and the Son likewise embraces us all, and unites us as intimately with each other as the soul unites the different members of the body. As a golden chain He links us to God and Christ, and likewise with the choirs of blessed spirits, with the band of Apostles and countless numbers of holy Martyrs, Confessors, and Servants of God.”

“By this unity the joy we shall experience in the beatific vision in heaven will be multiplied and infinitely increased, as St. Anselm proclaims in moving words: ‘Human heart, poor heart that suffers so many tribulations—ay, is inundated with suffering—how would you rejoice if you possessed all things that are prepared for you in heaven! Ask your inmost self whether it could comprehend such happiness. Yet, certainly, if another whom you love as yourself possessed the same happiness as you, your joy would be doubled, as you would rejoice no less at his happiness than at your own. But if two or three or many more enjoyed the same good fortune, you would rejoice for each individually as for yourself, if you loved each of them as yourself. In that perfect love, then, of numberless Angels and Saints, where one loves another no less than himself, every one will rejoice for all others individually as much as for himself. . . . Indeed, since each rejoices as much at the fortune of another as he loves him, they all, loving God in that perfect happiness incomparably more than themselves and all others, will also rejoice more at the happiness of God than at their own, and that of all others. . . . My Lord and my God, my Hope and the Joy of my heart! Tell my soul whether this is the joy of which Thou didst say through Thy Son: Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.'”

Quotations from Alice Lady Lovat, The Marvels of Divine Grace: Meditations Based on the “Glories of Divine Grace” (Original Treatise by Fr. Nieremberg, S.J., Entitled “Del Aprecio y Estima de la Divina Gracia”) (London: R. & T. Washbourne, Ltd., 1917).

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