The sweetness of God overwhelms the souls of the Just with Joy

January 6, 2022 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 158
By Venerable Louis of Granada

We are told that St. Ephrem was frequently so overcome with the strength of this divine sweetness that he was forced to cry out: “Withdraw from me a little, O Lord! for my body faints under the weight of Thy delights.”

Oh! unspeakable Goodness! Oh! sovereign Sweetness, communicating Thyself so prodigally to Thy creatures that the human heart cannot contain the effusions of Thy infinite love!

In this inebriation of heavenly sweetness the troubles and trials of the world are forgotten, and the soul is strengthened and elevated to joys beyond the power of her natural faculties.

Just as water under the action of fire loses its property of heaviness, and rises in imitation, as it were, of the element by which it is moved, so the soul inflamed with the fire of divine love soars to Heaven, the source of this flame, and burns with desire for the object of her love.

“Tell my beloved,” she cries, “that I languish with love.” [Canticles v. 8.]

These joys, which are the portion of the just in this world, need not excite our wonder, if we consider all that God endured in His Passion. All His sufferings and ignominies were for the sinner as well as for the just. Hence, if He endured so much for the sinner, what will He not do for the happiness of faithful souls?

The devotion and fidelity of the just still farther enable us to form some conception of the ardor with which God promotes their happiness.

Look into their hearts, and you will find there not a thought or desire which is not for Him Whose glory is the end of all their actions; that they spare no sacrifice to serve Him Who is continually giving them proofs of His love.

If, therefore, frail and inconstant man be capable of such devotedness, what will God not do for him? Isaias, and after him St. Paul, tell us “that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love Him.” [Isaias lxiv. 4 and 1 Cor. ii. 9.]

We could cite many other passages from Scripture in proof of this truth, particularly from the Canticle of Canticles, where these divine consolations are represented, sometimes under the figure of generous wine which rejoices the heart of man, or as milk sweeter than honey, containing all strength, and filling the soul with life and joy.

But what we have said will suffice to prove to you the joys which are reserved for the good, and how far these heavenly consolations exceed the pleasures of this world. For what comparison can there be between light and darkness, between Christ and Belial? How can the happiness afforded by a creature be compared to that which is given by the Creator?

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