Obrázky na stránke

of absolution might have been given, and that dew of reconciliation poured forth, making him that was a sinner beautiful, and him whose garments were foully stained, white as snow. But, alas, where faith is not, the seared heart knows not of love ; it stands apart, though in a crowd; it is desolate, though buoyed up with mirth ; it is forsaken when in sorrow; in very truth, it is unhinged from the chain of holy beings, and in death is indeed, in every sense of the word--ALONE.

O Death, bitter and painful, Death in the accumulated torment of lingering fire, and whole disease, wasting the once fair flesh with painful wrack and inward pains; 0 Death, in all the horrors of material decay, welcome, an hundredfold welcome, so as the ray of faith may only pass through the dismal chamber, and we lie tormented at the foot of the Cross. Soon the last struggle shall cease, and then how brightly shall the fruits of a patient forbearance shine rewarded for the brief though fiery trial! How sweet the remembrance of the racking pain, when the soul shall look on the glorified wounds of Christ's holy Passion; how dear to recall the dark struggle of temptation, when the soul in its agony felt no relief but in saying, “ Thy will be done;"—here cut, here burn, pati non mori ;-when there shall be revealed above the hidden sufferings of the Garden of Olives ; or what the sword of grief begat in the chaste breast of our Mother at the foot of the Cross. How alertly shall the meek spirit recall those despites, by which the bitterness of man oppressed and maligned us, when the mysteries of Herod's court, and Pilate's judgment-seat, shall be revealed before us in won. drous light; and in glory the soul shall repeat the words it learned on earth, Father, forgive them, for they knew not what they did.” O Death, under the guardian wing of faith, thy sting is gone ; thy bitterness made sweet ; thy power is but repose; the body which thou hast dismembered is separated but for a while; it is not dead, but sleepeth, to awake in glory.

There is no death but sin: and happy would it be had it come ere the fatal plunge had been taken. Happy are they who die in infancy, when the dew of baptism is still on their souls, and they are clean in the sight of God. Happy are they who though they lived, and hava often fallen, yet made not shipwreck of the faith, but early sought that reparation which is laid up in the treasure-house of the Church, for all that seek it early and contritely. To such, death in its most frightful terrors is better far than doing despite to the Spirit of God, by that sin which is unto death, that mournful suicide of the soul, which wilfully turns from the known truth, to revel again, and wallow in the mire. There are scandals, there always shall be such,—but if, while we meditate in this holy place, if we make not use of the appliances which they afford, we too may waken from our thoughtlessness in the deep gulph of perdition. The PORCH is passed. We are still in the NAVE, but whosoever tarries here must continually remember, that all who truly dwell therein, who have meekly entered by the right way, have but one common bond of continuance,--that bond is HUMILITY.

We are in a place safe, but not secure; we are safe while we weep and are humble; we are safe when we cling to the wounds of our Saviour, and seek to live like him ; we are safe when we beat the breast and call for mercy; while we water the confessional with our tears ; while we waken the lofty echos with our sighs ; while the incense of charity exhales from our hearts, and the Miserere is on our lips. But whilst temptations surround, without and within ; while the fleshly continent still keep us back, till we have entered into the Chancel of Heaven, by the Porch of death, we are not secure. Like the subtle electric fluid, whose motions are still a mystery, and on the discovery of some wide general laws learned men do prate so boastingly; there is a fluid still more subtle, for it is spiritual, the laws of which are well known, but unheeded, -and this is pride. Even in the good it rises, and in the very sanctuary of this holy place puffeth up; so that thousands make a boast of what should lead them to the altar, and to their knees, saying, as St. Peter did of old,“ Depart from me, for I am a sinful man." Hence we are never secure, and must needs be watchful. The Church is collective, and its communion of Saints is the treasure of all; yet, like as wheaten bread is made up of many grains, each individual must first be worthy of admission to the mass, before he can have a share in that wondrous communion. It is God alone gives increase to the number of His elect. It is by His will that the seed is sown in the heart, bringing forth, first the tender blade, then the ear, and in due time the goodly corn. While the early and the latter rains are not yet over, the joyous song of harvest may not be sung; we must sow in tears, if we would reap in joy, Manipula sua portantes.

" For who are we, that we should lift the head,

And not with downcast eyes our sins proclaim,
We, who so oft the ways of sorrow tread,
And wayward wander in the paths of shame,
Who lightly hold by heavenly desire,
And proudly cleave to this vain world's attire."


Feast of St. Bede the Venerable, 1843.


Creator best, who bade the ray
Of primal light first beam on day,
Who bade all earth, and sea, and skies,
In new and holy light arise :-
Oh! Thou, who morn with evening joined,
And called them day in one combined, -
Oh! now while darksome night draws near,
Our tearful


vouchsafe to hear !
And lest we lay us down to rest
With drowsy hearts in guilt oppressed,
To sleep, and wake no more again,
Girt wilful round with sinful chain :-
Let us the living meed apply,
At Heaven's gate for mercy cry,
Let us cast off sin's deadly reign,
And cleanse our souls from every stain.
Oh! FATHER, Thou of mercy most
Coequal, Son, and HOLY GHOST,
Who reign above, One God, give ear,-
Our humble prayers vouchsafe to hear!

H. Feast of St. John Cantius, 1843.


PARENT of clemency supreme,
Who rulest the world's frame,
In Persons Three-fold, Thou art God,
Of Substance, One and Same.

Give us Thy right hand when we rise,
Let each mind sober wake,
And, glowing in the praise of God,
Its due thanksgiving make.

To God'the Father glory be,
To His well-beloved Son,
While endless years inove on.




Once upon a time there were three children, and they were all born of one mother,

Like her, they were fair and comely, and there was a joyousness and brightness in their eyes, which showed that health and happiness was theirs, and that the buoyancy of dear childhood was fresh and brightly glowing within them.

Their mother was fair and spotless, and she loved her children with the truest love; and they loved her in return, and watched every expression of her countenance, smiling as she smiled on them, and obedient to her least commands. And she was well worthy of their love; for she had borne them in her arms from infancy, and having clothed them in milk-white garments, she was ever with them, leading them by the hand, and pouring into their tender ears a thousand motives of love, which took root in a good soil, and gave promise that one day, good and comely fruit of virtue should flow from so fair and early a promise. For, her great pleasure was to teach them how to walk in the ways of virtue, and how they might keep unstained the robe of innocence, with which she had clothed them.

Now the way she took to teach them this, was a secret way, which she had long ago learned from her Spouse, who, when He went away to heaven, had solemnly consigned to her the conduct of his dear and much loved offspring; for, in his place she was set, and her only care was to honour and fulfil his commands, by meek obedience to his words, and by honouring in these pledges of love, his beloved memory. For when he lived with her he charged her with many things which she was to do. How she was to remember his words, which were always sweet and full of most gracious kindness, and how she was to teach these to their mutual children, that so they might be like her, and come to him when death should call them away, to be happy with him for ever in heaven.

And lest at any time they should be at a loss in his absence, he gave to his beloved Spouse, a vast treasury, in which, all that was good and of value was stored up; much gold, and sweet gums, and silver, and precious stones, all of which were endowed with such virtue that whosoever used them, were saved from many dangers-nevertheless they had this further property of communicating their gifts to the user, so that whosoever made use of his gold became refined,—whosoever used his gums became redolent of sweet incense. His silver gave purity, and his precious stones afforded to each the several property of the gem he wore. His wealth was inexhaustible ; and though his spouse was never so lavish, yet she seemed never to have come to an end of riches,-or rather, the more she gave the more rich she seemed to become. For what she gave away to her children, grew more valuable in their hands; and her wealth was to see them abound, and then she was rich and happy.

Now it is not to be supposed that these precious metals, rich spices, and goodly gems, were such as are used for pride and show, and bravery, such as where the crown encircles an aching head, where the diamond agraffe fixes a silk cope over a troubled heart, or where the dazzle of the bright emerald attracts the gazer's eye from the wan complexion of the wearer of the gay bauble; but to show in more striking relief, the lustreless and sickly eye of her that boasts thereof. But these precious things which she gave out of her treasury, were of infinitely greater value than the diamond that hides its lustre in the gloomy mine, or the pearl that lies in obscurity among the coral reefs of the depths of the

Her jewels were fairer far than these, and her gold was seven times refined. The choicest amongst them was as the violet among flowers, whose perfume is rich, and its purple most beautiful, but both are hid behind the clustering leaves, so this sweet and lovely jewel grew low and retired; but whosoever wore it became lovely in their mother's eyes, and most dear in that of her Spouse; for it was such He loved, and wore the most, giving an example to all that should love him, that the surest road to his heart and love, was to walk as He had walked, adorned with the sweetest gem of HUMILITY.



Now it was the wont of the mother of these children to recall the words of her beloved Spouse, and to repeat them with accents so sweet and persuasive, that her instruction glided, as it were dew from heaven, softly on the hearts of those that hung about her lips, and treasured up every fond lesson that she


them. She early told them how God made them, and for what purpose; that He made them for love, and VOL. II.


« PredošláPokračovať »