Here and in the next several posts, we have excerpts from An Easy Method of Meditation by the Belgian Jesuit Father Francois Xavier Schouppe. In this book he gives short meditations on each phrase of the Lord’s Prayer. This method of meditation is an implementation of the second manner of prayer taught by St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556).
“God is our Creator, our Lord, our King, our Judge, . . . but leaving aside all these glorious titles, the Saviour wishes that we should call Him by the name of Father!”
“As God wills us to call Him by this name, which cannot be a vain title, He is then truly our Father, the Father of all in general, the Father of each one in particular.”
“Rejoice, ye poor and humble: you are richer than princes; your Father is the King of Heaven!”
“God is our Father by many titles: He has given us being and life; He has made us to his own image and likeness; He has given us life a second time by the Blood of his Son shed upon the cross; He has regenerated us and adopted us for his children in the Sacrament of baptism; and, lastly, He has prepared for us an eternal inheritance in heaven.”
“God proves Himself truly our Father: He never ceases to love us, to provide for our wants, to teach us, to chastise us even as the best of fathers.”
“God wishes us to speak to Him with filial confidence and familiarity. ‘And which of you,’ says Jesus Christ, ‘if he ask his Father bread, will He give him a stone? How much more will your Father from heaven give the good Spirit to them that ask Him?’ (Luke 11:11, 13).”
“Behold,” says St. John, “what manner of charity the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be named and should be the sons of God! Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God; and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know that when He shall appear, we shall be like to Him; because we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:1-2)
“O Christian, remember thy dignity; and having become by adoption a participator in the divine nature, take care of again descending, by profane conduct, to the vileness of thy first state.” (St. Leo)
“If we are the children of God, we ought to fulfil in his regard all the duties of filial piety, and render to this heavenly Father love, respect, obedience, and even assistance in the person of the poor.”
“If we are the children of so kind a Father, we ought, above all, to prove to Him our gratitude.”
“God is the Father of all men: all are equally his children; all, then, rich and poor, are brothers, and ought to love one another. We do not say my Father, but our Father, because God is the Father of all men.”
Quotations from Francois Xavier Schouppe, An Easy Method of Meditation (Dublin: M. H. Gill and Son, 1883).