Consider the Eternal Love God has borne you, in that, even before
our Lord Jesus Christ became Man and suffered on the Cross for
you, His Divine Majesty designed your existence and loved you.
When did He begin to love you?
When He began to be God, and that was never, for He ever was,
without beginning and without end. Even so He always loved you
from eternity, and therefore He made ready all the graces and
gifts with which He has endowed you. He says by His prophet, "I
have loved thee" (and it is YOU that He means) "with an
everlasting love, therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn
thee." (1) And amid these drawings of His Love He led you to make
these resolutions to serve Him.
What must resolutions be which God has foreseen, pondered,
dwelt upon from all eternity? how dear and precious to us! Surely
we should be ready to suffer anything whatsoever rather than let
go one particle of the same.
The whole world is not worth one soul, and the soul is worth
but little without its good resolutions.
O PRECIOUS resolutions! ye are as the lovely tree of life planted
by God's Own Hand in the midst of my heart, a tree which my
Saviour has watered with His Blood.
Rather would I die a thousand deaths than suffer any blast of
wind to root you up--neither vanity, nor pleasure, nor wealth, nor
sorrows shall ever overthrow my intentions.
Lord, Thou hast planted and nurtured this tree in Thy Bosom,
but how many souls there are which have not been thus favoured,
how can I ever sufficiently acknowledge Thy Mercy?
Blessed and holy resolutions, if I do but keep you, you will
keep me! if you live in my soul, my soul will live in you. Live
ever, then, ye resolutions, which have an eternity of your own in
God's Mercy, live ever in me, and may I never forsake you.
Next, you must particularise the necessary means for
maintaining your good resolutions, determining to use them
diligently,--such as frequency in prayer, in Sacraments, in good
works; the amendment of the faults you have already discovered,
cutting off occasions of sin, and following out carefully all the
advice given you with this view.
Then, take breath as it were in a renewed profession of your
resolutions, and, as though you held your heart in your
hands,--dedicate, consecrate, sacrifice, immolate it to God,
vowing never to recall it, but leave it for ever in His Right Hand
of Majesty, prepared everywhere and in all things to obey His
Ask God to renew your will, to bless your renewed resolutions
and to strengthen them.
While your heart is thus roused and excited, hasten to your
spiritual father, accuse yourself of any faults which you have
discovered since you made your general confession, and receive
absolution as you did at the first.
Make your protest and sign it in his presence, and then lose no
time in uniting your renewed heart to its Creator and Saviour, in
the most holy Sacrament of the Eucharist.