Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

The Blessing of God

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Cistercians_webAmong the blessings of God, some are the blessings of creation, others of restoration, and others of day-to-day consolation. The blessings of creation are that we were created in the image and likeness of God, that in him we live and move and have our being and are his offspring, and that by his gift we have a soul and body and all the senses of soul and body in their full number and completeness. Whatever good things we possess as a result of our creation, these we receive by God's generosity, and all these good things of ours are nothing but gifts of God.

The blessings of restoration are the sacrament of the incarnation, the mystery of the passion of Christ, and all the sacraments which Christ took upon himself for us or which he instituted for us to receive. Such are the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, the sacrament of baptism, and all the other sacraments of the Church by which the merciful God has bestowed grace and power for the remission of sins and the salvation of believers.

The blessings of everyday consolation are those which the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our tribulation, accords us in his mercy day by day. Our Father knows all that we need; we, I say, his unjust servants who, by his condescension, are yet his children. From our Father himself we receive the power to desire, to ask, and to hope. From him we can look for relief from all our sufferings, support in all our needs, and the remedy for all our infirmities. Th whom shall we look for all these things, if not to him? 'Where does my help come from?' asks the prophet. 'My help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.'

See how the Lord has done great things for us! He overwhelms us with the multitude of his blessings and by his blessings strives to wrest from us our love. Surely God should be loved with our whole heart because of these great and manifold blessings! It is only right and proper and just that we should give our heart to him if he himself thinks fit to ask for it. And he has thought it fit! 'Give me your heart', he says to us! He who asks you to give him your heart wants to be loved from the heart. God wants our whole heart for himself, that in him, before all else, it may take its pleasure.

Baldwin of Forde

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