The Father William Most Collection
Pure Love of God
[Published electronically for use in classes taught by Fr. Most and for private theological study.]
St. Therese of Lisieux: "Counsels and Reminiscences" in Autobiography, Kenedy, NY, 1927. p. 317: "There is a verse in the Divine Office which I recite each day with reluctance: "I have inclined my heart to do Thy justifications for ever, because of the reward." I hasten to add in my heart: "My Jesus, Thou knowest I do not serve Thee for sake of reward, but solely out of love and a desire to win thee souls."
Charles de Foucauld: Scriptural Meditations on Faith, New City Press, 1988, p. 15 [on "Hallowed be thy name"]: "These words contain a petition for ourselves and a petition for our fellow creatures, for God must be glorified through us and through other people. But we must not want his glory, must not petition it, for our own sake or for the sale of others, but for the sake of God.... And not for the sake of ourselves or any other creature but for the sake of God (not that we must not desire our own good and sanctification or those of others, but we must want them secondarily, for the sake of God."
COMMENTS: Distinguish three things: 1) God as good in Himself; 2) God as good to us; 3) God as source of our reward eternal happiness.
Considered just in itself, without relation to the other things, love of God because He is good in Himself is the highest. But yet we know from the Theological Commission at Vatican I, Bishop Gasser, that when God is said to create for His own glory, it really means that His glory is tied inseparably to our good: so He wills both, inseparably. (Cf. W. Most, New Answers to Old Questions, §30). So if our will is perfectly aligned with His, we will will both together. That includes of course the salvation of others, for He wills that.
St. Therese means that at times the one thought, of serving God without reward, is most prominent in her mind. This is all right.