The Joyful Consolations of the Holy Spirit toward the Just

January 5, 2022 • 4 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 156
By Venerable Louis of Granada

CHAPTER XV.

THE FOURTH PRIVILEGE OF VIRTUE: THE CONSOLATIONS WITH WHICH THE HOLY SPIRIT VISITS THE JUST.

We might regard charity, or the love of God, as the fourth privilege of virtue, particularly as the Apostle accounts it the first-fruit of the Holy Ghost; but our intention being at present to treat more of the rewards of virtue than of virtue itself, we shall devote this chapter to the consolations of the Holy Ghost, and refer to another part the consideration of charity, the most noble of virtues.

This fourth privilege of virtue is the effect of that divine light of which we spoke in the preceding chapter. This is the teaching of David when he says: “Light is risen to the just, and joy to the right of heart.” [Ps. xcvi 11.]

The Holy Scriptures furnish abundant proof of this truth.

If the path of virtue, O deluded sinner! be as sad and difficult as you represent it, what does the Psalmist mean when he exclaims: “Oh! how great is the multitude of Thy sweetness, O Lord! which Thou hast hidden for them that fear Thee”? [Ps. xxx. 90.]

And again: “My soul shall rejoice in the Lord, and shall be delighted in His salvation. All my bones” (that is, all the powers of my soul) “shall say: Lord, who is like to Thee?” [Ps. xxxiv. 9, 10.]

Do not these texts clearly tell us of the joy with which the souls of the just overflow, which penetrates even to the flesh, and which so inebriates man’s whole being that he breaks forth into transports of holy joy? What earthly pleasure can be compared to this? What peace, what love, what delight can equal that of which Thou, O my God! art the inexhaustible source?

“The voice of rejoicing and of salvation,” continues the prophet, “is in the tabernacles of the just.” [Ps. cxvii. 15.] Yes, only just souls know true joy, true peace, true consolation.

“Let the just feast and rejoice before God, and be delighted with gladness.” [Ps. lxvii. 3.] “They shall be inebriated with the plenty of Thy house, and Thou shalt make them drink of the torrent of Thy pleasure.” [Ps. xxxv. 9.]

Could the prophet more powerfully express the strength and sweetness of these consolations? They shall be inebriated, he tells us; for as a man overcome by the fumes of wine is insensible to all outward objects, so the just, who are filled with the wine of heavenly consolations, are dead to the things of this world.

“Blessed is the people,” he farther says, “that knoweth jubilation.” [Ps. lxxxviii. 16.] Many would perhaps have said, Blessed are they who abound in wealth, who are protected by strong walls, and who possess valiant soldiers to defend them! But David, who had all these, esteemed only that people happy who knew by experience what it was to rejoice in God with that joy of spirit which, according to St. Gregory, cannot find expression in words or actions.

Happy they who are sufficiently advanced in love for God to know this jubilation! It is a knowledge which Plato with all his wisdom, and Demosthenes with all his eloquence, could never attain.

Since, then, God is the author of this joy, how great must be its strength and sweetness! For if His arm be so terrible when stretched forth to chastise, it is equally tender when extended to caress.

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