God Only.

God Only.


My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

God Only.

WHEN we have said God, we have said all, and nothing remains to be said, at least for pure love, whose whole pleasure it is to say it, and to say it alone. How should it say aught else, since it knows nothing else? “For us,” said heretofore one of the greatest saints of this pure love, the divine Paul, “henceforth we know no man” (2 Cor. v. 16); for it is the property of this love to take away the perception of all that is not God, or, if it leaves the knowledge of anything else besides, it is only to behold it in its nothingness, in presence of this All-Adorable Being. Hence it is that he who is possessed with this pure love exclaims (Ps. lxxii. 25). “What have I in heaven or upon earth but Thee, O my God?” He has nothing on earth, he has nothing in heaven, because he has nothing but God only. Truly he thinks no more of pleasure, or reputation, or honour, or riches. He forgets natural goods, temporal goods, moral goods, spiritual goods, being filled only with the Sovereign Good. I will say more: he even loses the memory of himself; for he sees himself in his nothingness, like all other things; in the affairs of his salvation, in his soul, in Heaven, in Eternity, he sees only the God of his soul, the God of Heaven, the God of Eternity. In vain shall you speak to him of anything else, his heart is ever turned towards God alone. His heart and his flesh are, as it were, in a holy trance as regards all created things: God only, the God of his heart and his eternal portion, is his one only all.

This is the state in which that Apostolic man was who declared (Gal. ii. 20) that he no longer lived, but that Jesus alone lived in him. The Holy Catherine of Genoa, whom one may call the Saint of the Divinity of Jesus Christ, could not even endure that word “me,” that is to say, she could not in any manner regard her own interest. “O my God and my All!” said over and over again the humble St. Francis; and he spent nights and days in repeating these words of pure love. O sweet and savoury words! as says the devout author of the “Imitation of Jesus Christ” (iii 34), and it is a pleasure to repeat them; for, indeed, it is most true, and a soul which loves purely will feel no doubt of its truth: Pure love in its perfection can see God only, rest in God only, say God only. It can rejoice, it can take pleasure in nothing save God only. It can care for nothing save His sacred interests. Its whole joy consists in being able to promote them, and all its sorrow springs from not having sufficiently regarded them. As for self-interest, it holds it in horror; it is an abomination in its sight. No, we may truly say, it troubles itself no more about it than about the dust in the streets, and the care which it sees others bestowing upon themselves excites its deepest pity. The blessed possessor of this pure love has a holy contempt for his own interest; this is why it is to him a matter of indifference whether he be esteemed or despised by creatures—we may say more: the good are expelled from his heart as well as others; for there is no room there for any but God. Thus he does not concern himself if his reputation is ruined in the mind of good men, if he suffers contradiction from the servants of God, and if his best actions, performed under the inspiration of grace, meet with censure: so much less of creatures, he says to himself, so much more of God. The abandonment which he suffers constitutes his pleasure; and in proportion to this abandonment his joy becomes greater, his repose calmer, his peace more profound; for his highest and most exquisite joy is to come out from all that is created, in order to plunge into the Increate. Such were the dying sentiments of a holy soul in our day, which Father de Condren, an angelic man, admired, and which made him desire a like death. “I would wish,” he said, “ to die thus, uttering these words: I leave the created, to enter the Increate.”

This Increate Being, who is God only, forms the whole occupation of a glorious eternity; He fills alone all spirits and all the souls of the blessed who live therein; and it would be most just that He should be  the moving impulse of all hearts on earth, even as He is in heaven; but the greater number are attached to their own interests, and those who have loosened themselves from temporal interests still cling to self in their spiritual interests. A contemplative soul had one day a vision of the small number of the perfect lovers of the Son of God. It was manifested to him that out of a thousand, there were not a hundred who loved God; and out of these hundred, scarcely one who loved Him for His own sake. This sight cost him many tears. “Ah!” he exclaimed, “is it possible that there are so few hearts who love God after a perfect manner; but amongst this small number of persons who love God for God, are any to be found who, loving God for God, love Him only, and love Him with fidelity?” The Blessed Henry Suso perceived scarcely any on his “last rock,” that is to say, in the revelation which was made to him of the highest ways of perfection.[1] For this reason we have been compelled to suggest other motives in this little treatise, in order that men may at least love in some way or other; but these motives have none of them any value but because they terminate in God. It is God, it is God, who imparts their value to all things, and without Him all things are nothing.

The angelic nature is endowed with admirable perfections, but it derives them from God only, and it is only in Him that it possesses this glorious exaltation. “It is to God only,” teaches the devout St. Bernard, according to Scripture, “that honour and glory are due. It is true,” says this holy Father, “that we must not be ungrateful to the holy angels; we ought to have a great devotion for them, and be very thankful for all their goodness to us; we ought to be full of love for creatures so noble, who love us so truly; we ought to honour them to the utmost of our ability, and show them all manner of love and gratitude. Let us love and honour the angels,” exclaims this holy man; “nevertheless, to Him be all our love and all our honour paid from whom both we and they have received all we have wherewith either to love and honour, or to be loved and honoured; and after all, what have we left to give, we who owe to God our whole heart, our whole soul, and all our powers?” It is, then, in God, and for God, that we must love the angels. God must be the great motive of all our devotions; and blessed are those souls who act not only with a view to God, but with a view to God only! It is for these souls who possess this holy disinterestedness that we have presented God only as a motive to the love and devotion which we invite them to practise towards these spirits of pure love. If it is God only whom they regard in all things, well and good: they have then every reason to love the angels, for they will find them wholly filled with God only. . .

“The language of love,” says St. Bernard, “is a barbarous tongue to those who love not.” “If I speak,” says that holy lover, St. Augustine, “to a person who loves, he well understands what I say. If I speak to a frigid heart, devoid of love, it understands me not.” The spouse finds not her Beloved, because her Beloved is God only; and in all men there is something else besides God only—excepting always Her with whom comparison is inadmissible, the ever-incomparable Virgin, Mother of God. Sin is to be found in all,  either mortal or venial, or at least original, if it be true that some Saints have been preserved from venial sin, as is the opinion of some with respect to St. John the Baptist. But at last the Beloved is found after meeting those who keep watch over the city; for these guards who are stationed on the walls of Jerusalem, and who keep continual watch, are the holy angels; and on meeting them the Beloved is found, because there is not, and never was, in them aught save God only. It is true that the spouse declares that she found her Beloved after she had passed these guards a little way, because pure love does not stop short either at the beauty or at any of the other perfections of the angels, however lovely and lovable they may be; it passes by all these, and goes straight to God only, the Author of all these graces and all these gifts, the Beginning and the End of all things. He who possesses pure love is in a state of universal death to everything; and it is this death which teaches the science of pure love. This is why St. Bernard desired to die the death of the angels, meaning by this death a perfect detachment from every created thing; and, in the desire of this pure love, he ardently longed for this holy destitution of all that is not God. “Where is wisdom to be found?” says holy Job (xxviii. 12-22); it is not to be “found in the land of them that live in delights. The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me. Whence, then, cometh wisdom? It is hid from the eyes of all living”—of all those who live in themselves, and it is even unknown to “the fowls of the air,” that is, to the most exalted minds, the doctors, the learned, in fine, to all these great men. “Destruction and death” alone have said that they have learned something of it, and  “have heard of the fame thereof.” “O My Father!” said our Divine Master (Matt. xi. 25), “I give thanks to Thee, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones.” O blessed, then, are the poor in spirit! O blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, to whom is given the knowledge of God only, and whose will is united to God only!

Such souls, seeing only this Infinite Majesty in the holy angels, are ravished at the blessed revelation they behold of It in these glorious bands. “O heavenly armies!” they exclaim, “how lovely are you in your beauty, seeing that you are but pure and spotless mirrors of the beauty of God! We are constrained to love you, for nothing save God is to be seen in you; you have ever been filled with Him; and, never having belonged to yourselves, you have been possessed by Him alone. Great princes of the empyrean, how can we help loving you, since you have ever loved and have ever been loved by Him who is Love; since you have ever loved as much as it was in your power to love? for it is most assuredly true that never for one single moment have you been without love, without pure love. O my soul! if our inclinations ought to be ruled by those of a God, the angels ought indeed to be the worthiest objects of our tenderest affections. O ye desires of my heart! go, then, nay run, fly to these enrapturing beings, these amiable spirits, these glorious princes of a blessed Eternity. God only, God only, God only!”

[1] See Note D.

Nihil Obstat:
Henricus S. Bowden.
Censor deputatus.
Edm. Can. Surmont,
Vic. Gen.
Die 9, Martii, 1911.


My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.


October Devotion: The Holy Angels and the Holy Rosary.

Virtues to practice: Confidence.

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

Most glorious prince of the heavenly hosts, Archangel St. Michael, defend us in the battle and in the tremendous struggle we carry on against the Principalities and Powers, against the rulers of the world of darkness and all evil spirits. Come to the help of man, whom God created immortal, fashioned to His own image and likeness, and rescued at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. With the great army of the holy angels fight to-day the battle of the Lord as thou didst of old fight against Lucifer, the leader of the proud, and his apostate angels, who were powerless against thee, and they had no longer a place in heaven; and that monster, the old serpent who is called the devil and Satan, that seduces the whole world, was cast into hell with his angels. But now that first enemy and homicide has regained his insolent boldness. Taking on the appearance of an angel of light, he has invaded the earth, and, with his whole train of evil spirits, he is prowling about among men, striving to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to capture, to destroy, to drag to eternal perdition the souls destined to the crown of eternal glory. That malignant dragon is pouring abroad, like a foul stream, into the souls of men of ruined intellect and corrupt heart the poison of his wickedness, the spirit of lying, of impiety and blasphemy, the pestilent breath of impurity and of all vice and iniquity. Most cunning enemies have filled with bitterness and drenched with gall the Church, the Spouse of the Lamb without spot, and have lifted impious hands against all that is most sacred in it. Even in the holy place where the See of Blessed Peter and the chair of truth was set up to enlighten the world, they have raised the abominable throne of their impiety with the iniquitous hope that the Shepherd may be stricken and the flock scattered abroad. Arise, then, unconquerable Prince, defend the people of God against the assaults of the reprobate spirits, and give them the victory. Holy Church reveres thee as its guardian and patron; it glories in thee as its defender against the malignant powers of hell; to thee God has committed the souls that are to be conveyed to the seats of the Blessed in eternal happiness. Pray, then, to the God of peace, that He may put Satan under our feet, so completely vanquished that he may no longer be able to hold men in bondage and work harm to the Church. Offer up our prayers before the Most High, so that the mercies of the Lord may prevent us, and lay hold of the dragon, the old serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and hurl him bound in chains into the abyss where he may no longer seduce the souls of men. Amen.

V. Behold the Cross of the Lord, fly ye hostile ranks.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has conquered.
V. May Thy mercies, O Lord, be fulfilled in us.
R. As we have hoped in Thee.
V. Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us pray.

O God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy name and humbly beseech Thy clemency, that, through the intercession of the ever immaculate Virgin and our Mother Mary, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst vouchsafe to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits that are prowling about the world to the great peril of the human race and the loss of souls. Amen.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., Motu Proprio, September 25, 1888, granted to the faithful who recite the above prayer


Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in praelio,
ut non pereamus
in tremendo judicio.

Holy Archangel Michael,
defend us in battle,
that we may not perish
in the tremendous judgment.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, August 19, 1893, granted to the faithful who recite the above antiphon


The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 26, 1876, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of S. Gabriel the archangel, with any formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority,
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, during the novena, if, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, they pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.


The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 28, 1876, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of S. Raphael the archangel, with any formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority,
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, during the novena, if, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, they pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.


Glorious Archangel, S. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, illustrious by thy gifts of wisdom and grace, guide of travellers by land and sea, consoler of the unfortunate and refuge of sinners, I entreat thee to help me in all my needs and in all the trials of this life, as thou didst once assist the young Tobias in his journeying. And since thou art the “physician of God,” I humbly pray thee to heal my soul of its many infirmities and my body of the ills that afflict it, if this favor is for my greater good. I ask, especially, for angelic purity, that I may be made fit to be the living temple of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 21, 1890, granted to the faithful who shall recite the above prayer


Angele Dei,
qui custos es mei,
me tibi commissum pietate superna
illumina, custodi,
rege, et guberna.Amen.

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom His love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard,
To rule and guide.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VI., by a brief, Oct. 2, 1795, granted to all the faithful, every time that, with at least contrite heart and devotion, they shall say this prayer:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, on the feast of the holy guardian angels (Oct. 2), to those who shall have said this prayer, morning and evening, throughout the year, provided that, on the day of the feast, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall visit a church or public oratory, and pray for the Sovereign Pontiff.
The same Sovereign Pontiff, by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 11, 1796, granted:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, at the hour of death, to all those who, during life, shall have frequently said this prayer, provided they shall have the proper dispositions.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, May 15, 1821, not only confirmed the above mentioned indulgences, but, moreover, granted:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, once a month, to all the faithful who shall have said it every day for a month, as above directed, on any day, when, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall visit a church, and pray devoutly for the intention of his Holiness.


The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript dated at Gaeta, Jan. 5, 1849, and by another of the S. Congr. of Bishops and Regulars, Jan. 28, 1850, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of the Guardian Angel, published by the Rev. Joseph M. Falcone, of the Congregation of the Missions:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, either during the novena or upon one of the eight days immediately following, if, truly penitent, they confess and communicate, and say some prayers for the holy Church and for the Sovereign Pontiff.
By a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 26, 1876, the same Sovereign Pontiff deigned to approve that these indulgences may be gained by those who make the novena to the Guardian Angel with any other formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority.

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