The various circumstances of our being Chosen should move us to deep gratitude and joy

April 2, 2022 • 5 min

#Doctrine #Exhortation

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 73
By Venerable Louis of Granada

Weigh all the circumstances of this election, and you will find that each of them is an extraordinary favor, a new motive to love and serve God.

Consider first the greatness of Him Who has chosen you. It is God Himself, Who, being infinitely rich and infinitely happy, had no need of you or any other creature.

Next represent to yourself the profound unworthiness of the object of this election—a miserable creature exposed to all the infirmities of this life, and deserving by his sins the eternal torments of the future.

Reflect, too, how glorious is this elation, by which you are raised to the dignity of a child of God and heir to His kingdom.

Consider, farther, how generously and gratuitously this favor is bestowed. It preceded all merit on our part, and sprang solely from the good pleasure and mercy of God, and, according to the Apostle, turns “unto the praise of the glory of His grace.” Now, the more gratuitous a favor is, the greater the obligation it imposes.

The origin and the antiquity of this election also merit special consideration. It did not begin with this world; it preceded the existence of the universe; it was coeval with the very existence of God. From all eternity He loved His elect. They were ever present to Him, and His will to render them eternally happy was as fixed as His own Being. Observe, finally, what a singular benefit this is.

Among the many nations plunged in the darkness of paganism, among the many souls condemned to perdition, you have been selected to share the happy lot of the elect. Out of the mass of perdition He has raised you, and the leaven of corruption and death He has changed into the bread of Angels and the wheat of the elect.

The value of this benefit is still farther increased when we reflect how small is the number of the elect and how great is the number of the lost. Solomon says that “the number of fools”—that is, the reprobate—“is infinite.”

But if none of these considerations move you, be touched at least by the sight of all that it has cost God to confer this immortal benefit on you. He purchased it for you with the Life and Blood of His only Son; for He resolved from all eternity to send Him into this world to execute His loving and merciful decree.

Who, then, would be so base as to wait until the end of his life to love God, Who has loved him from eternity? “Forsake not an old friend,” we are told in Scripture, “for a new one will not be like him.” Who, then, will forsake this Friend Whose love for us had no beginning, and Whose claim to our love is likewise from eternity? Who will not give up all the goods of this world, who will not bear all the evils of this world, to share in this blessed friendship?

How great would be our respect for the poorest beggar were we assured by divine revelation that he was predestined to share God’s glory! Would we not kiss the ground upon which he trod? “O happy soul!” we would cry. “O enviable lot! Is it possible that thou art surely to behold God in all the splendor of His majesty? Art thou to rejoice with the angels for ever? Will thy ears be ravished with sweet music for all eternity? Art thou to gaze upon the radiant beauty of Christ and His blessed Mother? Oh! happy day when thou wast born! But happier still the day of thy death, which will introduce thee to eternal life. Happy the bread thou eatest and the ground upon which thou dost tread! Happier still the pains and insults thou endurest, for they open to thee the way to eternal rest! For what clouds, what tribulations, can overcome the power and joy of such a hope as thine?”

We would doubtless break out into such transports as these did we behold and recognize a predestined soul. For if people run out to see a prince, the heir to a great kingdom, as he passes through the street, marvelling at his good fortune, as the world esteems it, how much more reason have we to marvel at the happy lot of one who, without any previous merit on his part, has been elected from his birth, not to a temporal kingdom, but to reign eternally in heaven!

You may thus understand, dear Christian, the gratitude the elect owe to God. And yet there is no one, provided he do what is necessary for salvation, who may not consider himself of this happy number. “Labor, therefore, the more,” as St. Peter tells you, “that by good works you may make sure your calling and election.” We should never lose sight, therefore, of our end, for God’s grace is never wanting to us, and we can do all things in Him Who strengthens us.

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