St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Dekaena to the Holy Spirit
Love Is a Treasure Containing Every Good
LOVE is that treasure of which the Gospel says that we must leave all to obtain it, because love makes us partakers of the friendship of God, "an infinite treasure to men! which they that use, become the friends of God" (Wis. 7:14). Oh man, says St. Augustine, why, then, do you go about seeking for good things? See that one good alone in which all other good things are contained.
But we cannot find God, Who is this sovereign good, if we do not forsake the things of the earth. St. Teresa writes, "Detach your heart from creatures, and you will find God." He who finds God finds all that he can desire: "Delight in the Lord, and He will give thee the requests of thy heart" (Ps. 36:4). The human heart is constantly seeking after good things that may make it happy; but if it seeks them from creatures, however much it may acquire, it will never be satisfied; if it seeks God alone, God will satisfy all its desires. Who are the happiest people in this world, if not the saints? And why? Because they desire and seek only God.
A tyrant offered gold and gems to St. Clement, in order to persuade him to renounce Jesus Christ. The saint exclaimed with a sign, "Is God to be put into competition with a little dirt? Blessed is he who knows this treasure of divine love, and strives to obtain it. He who obtains it will of his own accord divest himself of everything else, that he may have nothing else but God." "When the house is on fire," says St. Frances de Sales, "all the goods are thrown out of the windows." And Father Paul Seneri the Younger, a great servant of God, used to say that love is a thief which robs us of all earthly affections, so that we can say, "And what else do I desire but Thee alone, my Lord?"
Affections and Prayers
I have not lived for Thee in the past, O my God, but rather for myself and my own gratifications. I have accordingly turned my back upon Thee, my supreme good. But I take heart at these words of Jeremias: "The Lord is good to the soul that seeketh Him." He says then that Thou art all goodness for him who seeks Thee.
O my beloved Lord, I know well the evil I have done in going away from Thee and I am sorry for it with all my heart. I know the infinite treasure we find in Thee. I will profit by this light that Thou givest me. I leave all things and choose Thee for my only love.
My God, my love, my all, I love Thee, I sign after Thee, I desire Thee. Come, O Holy Spirit, come and consume in me by Thy sacred fire every affection that is not for Thee. Make me all Thine and grant me the grace to overcome everything in order to please Thee.
O Mary, my Advocate and Mother, help me by thy prayers.