Heavenly consolations sometimes draw us to God

July 29, 2021 • 2 min

From Introduction to the Devout Life, page 247

Yet these tender and delightful affections are sometimes good and profitable; for they excite the appetite for piety in the soul, strengthen the spirit, and add to the promptitude of devotion a holy gaiety and cheerfulness, which makes our actions more beautiful and agreeable, even on the exterior.

This relish which one meets with in the things of God, is that which made David exclaim: “O Lord, how sweet are thy words to my palate! they are sweeter than honey to my mouth.” The slightest consolation of devotion that we receive is certainly, in every respect, preferable to the finest recreations of the world.

The milk of the heavenly Spouse is sweeter to the soul than the wine of the most delicious pleasures on earth. He that has once tasted it esteems all other consolations no better than gall or wormwood; for, as they that hold the herb scitique in their mouth imbibe so excessive a sweetness from it, that they neither feel hunger nor thirst; so they to whom God has given the heavenly manna can neither desire nor relish the consolations of the world, so far, at least, as to fix their affections on them: they are slight foretastes of those everlasting delights which God has in reserve for the souls that seek Him; they are the sweetmeats which He gives to his little children in order to allure them; they are the cordial waters wherewith He strengthens them; and they are also sometimes the earnest of eternal felicities.

It is said that Alexander the Great, sailing on the ocean, discovered Arabia Felix by perceiving the fragrant odours which were borne by the wind from thence, and thereupon encouraged both himself and his companions; so we oftentimes receive these sweet consolations on this sea of our mortal life, which, doubtless, must give us a certain foretaste of the delights of that heavenly country to which we tend and aspire.

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