As I will be away from my computer for several days, I leave a post which I wrote almost two years ago about a most beautiful book. This too, is one of those books that you can never really “finish” reading. Grace is so glorious, that one never tires of reading about and contemplating it. And…one’s thoughts are drawn with awe and gratitude toward the God Who so loves His creatures that He gives them a share in His Own Divine Life through this marvel of Sanctifying Grace. Blessed be He forever and ever!
(When I return, I will complete part III of the series I have been writing on my involvement with the occult.)
That is because a worthy review of this book is a task best reserved for a Saint, or maybe an angel.
The publisher makes an effort on the back cover: “The Glories of Divine Grace will undoubtedly become one of the two or three most influential Catholic books that a person will ever read.”
I bought this book six years ago, and have been reading it ever since, a page, a paragraph, a sentence at a time. Randomly selected passages outdo one another in extolling the exquisite beauty of a soul possessed of Sanctifying Grace — a soul so magnificent that it is the chosen bridal chamber of the Divine Spouse, Who, so completely enamoured of this creature bearing His Own Image delights to take her both as His bride and His dwelling place.
And in reading these pages, Grace is presented as unspeakable glory, and the loss of Grace, in all of its misery, horror and shame. The reader is instilled with a new terror of sin, of losing this priceless gift of Grace, or rather this Grace bought at such a Price as the Blood of the Son of God.
I’ve long known these things intellectually, yet somehow this book succeeds in transforming the abstract into realities that are simply breathtaking to comprehend. Like the dream one yearns to be true, this book unfolds the drama of Divine Love — of a God deeply and madly in love with His creatures.
And yet, the Saints have told us so, again and again. Read St. Catherine’s prayer to the Trinity on this blog. She knew. This book is helping me to know.
And to that I will simply add: If you too want to know how passionately God loves you, how breathtakingly beautiful you are to His Divine Glance, the splendor with which He has adorned your soul, so that He, the Lord of all, cannot resist you, then read this book.
I share below a few random excerpts:
God is not concerned with the beauty of bodies, which He by His word brought out of nothingness. He can be astonished at nothing that is not divine. As He considers throughout eternity His infinite beauty with the same endless delight, His eye also rests with unspeakable satisfaction upon the image of His Divine Nature, which the Holy Ghost impresses as a seal upon our soul. He is astonished, as it were, at the wonderful power of His love, which is able to adorn with such beauty a poor, miserable creature and to make it so much like Himself. He is astonished with the gold of His grace. He is astonished with the beautiful and lovely garden, with never-fading bloom, which His love has planted, refreshed by the breath of His Holy Spirit as by a mild, vernal breeze, and in which He dwells with unspeakable delight. And thus He cries out repeatedly: “How beautiful art thou, my love, how beautiful art thou!’ (Song of Songs 4:1)
The soul adorned with grace is but a golden setting in which the most precious jewel, the Holy Ghost, God Himself, is enclosed. As in a ring, the gold is distinct from the jewel, and yet they are so closely united that they form but one whole and one beauty, so likewith the Divinity is distinct from the just soul, but is so intimately united with it through love that the beauty of both appears to be one and the same.
Every glance toward God, every virtuous act performed in grace and every sigh of the soul that loves God, even though so light as a hair, becomes an arrow that wounds, not the unstable heart of man, but the eternal and constant heart of God. Every step that you take in the pathway of grace is so beautiful and lovely that God, beholding you, exclaims: “How beautiful are thy steps in shoes, O prince’s daughter!” (Songs. 7:1) Every word that you address to God is so dear and precious that it brings down upon you His richest blessing, as the Psalmist sings: “Grace is poured abroad in thy lips; therefore hath God blessed thee forever.” (Psalm 45:3)
What a heavenly life will then be developed in our heart when it dies to itself and is absorbed in the divine heart of Jesus and feels no longer its own pulsations and impulses, but rather those of God! How heavenly will our life be when our Savior takes our heart out of our breast and places His own in its stead!
The Glories of Divine Grace
By: Fahter Matthias J. Scheeben
Tan Books and Publishers, Inc.