Our Advocate Above

posted in: Meditations | 0
Window Iffley Church
Window Iffley Church

I adore you, O Lord, as is most fitting, for you are gone to heaven to take my part there and defend my interests. I have one to plead for me with the Lord of all. On earth we try to put ourselves under the protection of powerful men when we have any important business on hand; we know the value of their influence, and we make much of any promise they make us. You are omnipotent, and you exert your omnipotence for me.

There are millions of men in the world. You died for them all, but you live for your people, whom you have chosen out of the world. And still more marvelously do you live for your predestinate. You have engraved them upon the palms of your hands; their names are ever be­fore you. You count the full roll of them; you know them by heart. You order the crown of the world for them; and, when their number shall be completed, the world shall end.

For me, you have chosen me for present grace, and thus you have put me in the way for future glory. I know perfectly well that, whatever be your secret counsels about me, it will be simply, entirely, most really my own fault if I am not written in your book. I cannot understand you. I can understand myself enough to know and be sure of this. You have put me on such a special ground that the prize is almost in my hand. If I am at present in the soci­ety of angels or saints, it is hard if I cannot make interest with them that the fellowship begun between them and me should endure. Men of the world know how to turn such opportunities to account in their own matters. If you have given me Mary for my mother, who, O my God, is yours, cannot I now establish, as it were, a family interest in her, so that she will not cast me off at the last? If I have the right to pray, may I not thereby secure that persever­ance to the end, which I cannot merit, and which is the sign and assurance of my predestination? I have in my hands all the means of that which I have not and may in­fallibly obtain, even though I cannot certainly secure it.

O my Lord, I sink down almost in despair, in utter remorse certainly and disgust at myself, that I so utterly neglect these means which you have put into my hands, content to let things take their course, as if grace would infallibly lead to glory without my own trouble in the matter. What shall I say to you, O my Savior, except that 1 am in the chains of habit, feeble, helpless, stunted, growthless, and as if I were meant to walk through life, as the inferior creatures, with my face down to the earth, on hands and feet, or crawling on, instead of having an erect posture and a heavenward face? Come give me what I need: contrition for all those infinitely numerous venial sins, negligences, slovenliness, which are the surest fore­boding that I am not of your predestinate. Who can save me from myself but you?

I cannot penetrate your secret decrees, O Lord! I know you died for all men really; but since you have not effectually willed the salvation of all, and since you might have done so, it is certain that you do for one what you do not do for another. I cannot tell what has been your everlasting purpose about myself, but, if I go by all the signs you have lavished upon me, I may hope that I am one of those whose names are written in your book. But this I know and feel most entirely, what I believe in the case of all men but know and feel in my own case: that, if I do not attain to that crown which I see and which is within my reach, it is entirely my own fault. You have sur­rounded me from childhood with your mercies; you have taken as much pains with me as if I was of importance to you, and my loss of heaven would be your loss of me. You have led me on by ten thousand merciful providences. You have brought me near to you in the most intimate of ways. You have brought me into your house and cham­ber. You have fed me with yourself. Do you not love me, really, truly, substantially, efficaciously love me, without any limitation of the word? I know it. I have an utter conviction of it. You are ever waiting to do me benefits, to pour upon me blessings. You are ever waiting for me to ask you to be merciful to me.

Yes, my Lord, you do desire that I should ask you. You are ever listening for my voice. There is nothing I cannot get from you. I confess my heinous neglect of this great privilege. I am very guilty. I have trifled with the highest of gifts, the power to move Omnipotence. How slack am I in praying to you for my own needs! How little have I thought of the needs of others! How little have I brought before you the needs of the world and of your Church! How little I have asked for graces in detail and for aid in daily wants! How little have I interceded for individuals! How little have I accompanied actions and undertakings, in themselves good, with prayer for your guidance and blessing!

O my Lord Jesus, I will use the time. It will be too late to pray when life is over. There is no prayer in the grave; there is no meriting in purgatory. Low as I am in your all-holy sight, I am strong in you, strong through your Immaculate Mother, through your saints: and thus I can do much for the Church, for the world, for all I love. Oh, let not the blood of souls be on my head! Oh, let me not walk my own way without thinking of you. Let me bring everything before you, asking your leave for everything I purpose, your blessing on everything I do. I will not move without you. I will ever lift up my heart to you. I will never forget that you are my advocate at the throne of the Highest. As the dial speaks of the sun, so will I be ruled by you above, if you will take me and rule me. Be it so, my Lord Jesus. I give myself wholly to you.

Meditations and Devotions, taken from Everyday Meditations, Sophia Institute Press 2013, 116-120.