St Francis in Ecstasy
It is manifest, that the end, for which Almighty God created man, was, that being endowed not only with that inferior part, which is common to him with other Creatures; but also with the peculiar privilege and preeminence of a Celestial mind; he should only employ his exterior senses in the managing of outward and transitory things, and with his mind surpassing all human affairs should aspire wholly to God, and be carried to him, as to his first beginning. Wherefore it is wonderful, and much to be lamented, that some being unmindful of their condition and end, do with such earnestness follow these temporal Vanities as if they wanted this divine understanding; having not their minds elevated on high, but fixed on the earth, and creeping like Worms upon the ground, so as the very brute Beasts accuse them of ingratitude, which by a certain instinct of Nature seem to retain a memory of the benefits they have received. Meditations of the whole History of the Passion of CHRIST Fr. Francis Costerus S.J
THE XVII. MEDITATION.
Of the omnipotence of God in the Creation of the World, and of the greatness of this benefit.
THE I POINT.
1. First is to be considered, the principal article of our faith, wherein we confess, that God our Lord with his infinite power, in the beginning, created heaven, and earth, the sea, and all things that are therein, and all visible and invisible things which are in the world, so that there is no thing great nor little, which took not beginning from almighty God, according to that which St. John saith, of the divine Word. All things were made by him, and without him was made nothing, that was made: and consequently, I also am the work of God, and of him received the being I have.
In this article is to be pondered first, how all things whatsoever that are out of God, took their origin, and began to be, not being before. So that before the creation of the world which the divine Scripture doth recount, there was nothing out of God, all was nothing, and only God was, from whom all things receive the being they have: and consequently, if I consider myself, in my origin, I am merely nothing not only as touching the soul, but also as touching the body, because that whereof I was made, was sometimes nothing: whence I will excite myself to render infinite thanks to almighty God, who by his omnipotence hath drawn me forth of the abyss of nothing, and grounding myself in the profound humility, I will say with the Apostle.
O depth of the riches, of the wisdom, and omnipotence of God! Who hath first given to him, and retribution shall be made to him? He is the first, who gave unto all what they have, and to whom all are oblige to be thankful for what they possess, because of him, by him, and in him are all things, to whom is due all honor and glory, world without end, Amen.
2. I will ponder secondly, how God our Lord, freely, and purely pf his own good will and grace. Created all things, there being none who could enforce him: for their merits did not enforce him, since there were none to merit, nor any necessities he had of them, or utility by them did not enforce him him, because he was blessed without his creatures, and stood in no necessity of them: neither did the goodness of his creatures enforce him, because it is greatly limited, and can enforce none to love them, how much less God? Wherefore of his only goodness and mercy, he moved himself, to create them for himself, and for his glory.
O my soul, praise and glorify thy Creator, for so sovereign a benefit as he hath done thee, drawing so many things, and thee also together with them, forth of the abyss of nothing, to give unto thee the being thou hast: and since he would create them, and thee of his own free will, because he was good, employed thy whole being, and all thou hast in servicing him freely and with good will, because he is good, and because he made thee without thy merits.
3. The third shall be to ponder, how God our Lord in this work of the creation had no other example or model then himself, so that himself alone was the efficient cause that created all things, and the final end for which he ordained them, and the pattern or example from whence he drew them. For discovering by his infinite wisdom all things which he could do, and the disposition and order of them, he chose with his free will, this order of creatures which is in the world, and with his omnipotence brought the same to pass: and in like sort, as then he left infinite creatures in the abyss of nothing, and chose to create those he created: so leaving infinite souls in the abyss of nothing, he chose amongst others to create mine in his time. For the which I am to give him infinite tanks, thou know then that thou shouldst be born? And didst thou know the number of thy days? As who should say: thou souldst not know it, but I knew it, and of my goodness, determined to do it.
O most wise and potent God, what hast thou seen in my soul that thou wouldst create it, leaving innumerable other in the abyss of nothing? O final end of all creatures, why didst thou rather create this miserable creature, then many others, which would have glorified thee much better then I? O perfect pattern of all things, which can be created, wherefore wouldst thou create me, rather than others a great deal better, of whom likewise who wast the pattern? There is no other cause (O my God) but only thy pure and holy will, for which thine omnipotence did create me, giving me the being which I have, because thou wouldst: and since thou hast dealt so liberally with me, I will serve thee always, because thou so wilt: thou shalt be my last end in all things because thou so commandest, and I will behold thee as a pattern and example of my life, because thous so ordains, thy will O Lord, shall always be mine, because my being, and whatsoever I have cometh of thine.Fr. Luis de la Puente S.J.