Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

in the spiritual miracle of the soul's resurrection from sin, the faithful soul should inwardly give glory to Him. For the more dangerous and desperate is the resurrection of the soul that was dead, the more are they bound to amend their ways by good example when recalled to life. Let us remember David and the apostle St. Peter,—the one, albeit a great prophet and a mighty king, yet fell so low as to commit both adultery and murder; and the other, from the highest step of the apostleship, fell so as thrice to deny his master. But when they repented, how many were also thereby brought to resurrection of life, and the higher their station, and the more dangerous their sins, the more did the mercy of our Lord exhibit itself to us in them. The more his mercy shone in them, the more is our confidence strengthened, and the hope of salvation confirmed to all that have since fallen into sin, and like them done penance. “ For a great prophet hath arisen amongst us." The ignorant people called him a prophet only, and not God, nor the Son of God, for they were blinded in ignorance. But yet he was truly a prophet; yea, the Lord of the prophets; the King of kings, and Lord of lords. For “God hath visited his people.” In one sense, because of his miracles ; but in the true sense, because God the Father hath sent to his people the WORD INCARNATE into the world, that by his mercy he might redeem it, and deliver it from the long torpor of death in which it had lain too long. Nor was it only at that time he visited his people: even till now he daily visiteth his people, by his Gospel, by the words of his prophets, and by the example of the fathers that have gone before us. Our Lord also visiteth his people when he speaks inwardly to his elect by the ministry of his Holy Spirit, and shows them either the terror of eternal punishment, or the sweetness of the heavenly country; or when by his secret inspiration he persuades the soul that was dead in sin to rise from the dead ; again, he visiteth his people every day, when, by the interior inspiration of his word, he excites to the love of invisible things those whom he hath foreshown and pre-ordained to be conformable to the image of his Son; and impresses on their minds the greatness of the joys that are promised to them in heaven, where there is safety without weakness, health without pain, life without death, ease without hindrance, security without alloy; where the society of the elect is holy, the fruition is certain, rest secure; where peace is true, and life everlasting. Therefore let us give thanks to God the Father, our Creator, who, having left those of old deservedly in their infidelity, hath, in these latter days of the world, confirmed his mercy upon us, by sending his Son to redeem the race of man. Let us also

give thanks to his Son our Lord JESUS Christ, who, by the assumption of our human nature, hath vouchsafed to come, and to promise eternal beatitude to such as keep his commandments; to which, that we may come, he himself helpeth us, who, in the presence of his incarnation, hath visited us, and by the blood of his passion hath mercifully redeemed us.

Now in the four evangelists we find that there were three who were raised from the dead, especially commemorated; although, without doubt, there were many others, although not mentioned..“ Multi enim sine dubio,” says St. Augustine, “sunt corporaliter a Domino suscitati.” Nor is it without a purpose that only these three are noticed, namelythe daughter of the ruler of the synagogue, who was dead, but yet lying in the house; this young man who was carried out of the gates of the city; and Lazarus, who was already in his grave four days. These three signify three different kinds of sinners, whom, in his Church, Christ daily calleth from the dead. Now let us consider what are these three different kinds : some there are who give consent to evil thoughts, and beget sin inwardly in their hearts, but yet show it not in deed; and such are they whom our Saviour recalls, as he did the ruler's daughter, by entering into their house, i. e. into their hearts, where their iniquity lies hid; others, again, cleaving to their perverse thoughts, after giving consent unto sin, fall into deed, and as it were carried out, since what lay hid in secret is now displayed publicly, while that such should repent and not give themselves up to despair, since in the Lord they may be brought to life again, our Lord hath raised up this young man, that was carried out dead without the walls of the city, and restored him to his mother, causing a soul to arise from sin, and giving him back to the unity of holy Church. But some there are who sin, not only in thought and in deed, but even by habit ; such are they who may be well said to be buried; but even for such hope should not be forsaken, for anxious thoughts come over them, and watch over their salvation in Christ, like the devout sisters Martha and Mary, which will raise up Lazarus, albeit he be already four days dead and in the tomb. Again, our Lord hath shown, that the lighter sins which arise in the heart and thought, may be cured by the remedy of a lighter penance, for, as soon as our Lord said to the young girl lying on her bed, by his lightest command, “ Maiden, arise” (Luke viii, 54), she arose immediately. But such sins as cannot be imitated without shame, or which, through long habit, have grown into custom, for such there needs a greater penance: and, therefore, as in the case before us, he makes use of more words, saying, “ Young man, I say unto thee, arise." But when he raised

Lazarus, he commanded the stone to be rolled away from the sepulchre, he groaned in spirit, he groaned again, he wept, and with a loud voice he called out, “ Lazarus, come forth.” (St. John xi. 43.) Such are they of whom St. John writes,“ there is a sin unto death” (St. John v. 16), that is, there are those that persevere in sin unto death.

Whosoever, then, that feeleth that he cometh under one of these three heads—these three deaths of the soul—let him do penance as is need for his deeds ; and, joining the prayers of the faithful with his own, let him implore continually the divine mercy, that he may speedily deserve to arise again from the death of sin, unto life eternal. Amen.

GOD AND MAMMON.

Oh, let thy heart, and will, and thought,

To love thy God be wholly given,
To haste thee on, and linger not,

But labour still for love of Heaven.
Our days are few, and peril great

The pathway blocks with subtle lure,
The world drags down with heavy weight

The heart, with images impure.
Thou canst not give thy love to God,

And give to earthly things a share;
Thou canst not follow virtue's road,

And list the while to sinful snare.
The undivided soul is one,

And God is one, and asks it all;
Then make thy vows to Him alone,

And hearken to his sovereign call.
For He alone the heart can fill,

The world but leaves it void and lorn;
Then curb the disobedient will,

Be mindful of thy final bourne.
The soul was made alone for God,

To love him-serve him, and obey;
Then follow now in virtue's road

That leads to heaven's eterual day!
In Fest, Stæ. Maria Magdalena, 1842.

LIFE OF THE VENERABLE GERARDUS MAGNUS, VULGARLY CALLED GERARD GROOT, FROM THE

ORIGINAL OF THE B. THOMAS A KEMPIS.

CHAP. IX.-OF HIS LABOURS AND PATIENCE AGAINST HIS

ADVERSARIES. 1. It would take a long while to tell what labours he underwent in preaching; what conflicts he had in disputing against such as subverted the faith ; what exhortations he made, in confirming devout brethren and sisters in their holy purpose. All this may be clearly seen in his epistles, which for their consolation he sent to divers persons. Thus he says in one of his letters to the priests in Amsterdam, where he had many friends : “ Be not terrified, beloved brethren, if you should hear evil spoken against me by the citizens of Kempis ; all things succeed as I hope, and as God willeth ; and the Church is marvellously increased in Kempis,-praise and glory be to the most high God. Let not charity burn within us slowly, but vehemently. Let us despise these as dung ; let us live for the praise of our Maker, as examples of the most High."

Some time after, perceiving that many prelates of the Church were opposed to him, and that they hindered his preaching through envy, and interdicted him by a crafty edict; he bowed humbly to their fury and gall, being unwilling to raise up a disturbance among the people against a clerk; and he said to the people who indignantly bore such a groundless prohibition, “ They are our prelates; we wish, and hold as is becoming, to obey their commands ; for we seek to hurt no one, neither to scandalize any one. Our Lord knoweth well his own, whom he hath chosen from the beginning; and will call them by his grace, without our help, according to his good pleasure.” Wherefore, he closed his mouth for a while, and kept himself apart, giving exhortations in private, and imparting with a ready heart to all who came to him the word of consolation; as St. Paul saith : “I most gladly will spend and be spent myself for your souls, for I seek not the things that are yours, but you.” (2 Cor. xv. 14.)

2. He caused also several books of divine theology to be written by his scholars, whom he attracted by good conversation, and rewarded by a premium, inviting them to come to his house to hear the word of God often, that so he might build them up in chastity, and amendment

of life; to the end that they might be partakers of everlasting bliss, and might lay hold of the beauty of holy newness, by the renunciation of the world. Sometimes, also, by means of a pious usury, he paid not the whole sum of money at once, but gave it out by instalments, so that they might the more often come to him to take up their debt, and by such an opportunity of familiarity, might find grace,--seeing that they listened more willingly to the doctrine of their master, the more they were sensible of the benefits of piety that sprung therefrom ; for it was his great desire, that of these writers he should make some who should be Christ's ; which by God's blessing came to pass shortly after. For he delighted more to speak to the simple and little learned, than to the wise of this world; seeing the innocent and needy for the most part receive the counsel of God more readily than the more crafty, who trust in their own wisdom, as the prophet David says: “ The innocent and the upright have adhered to me: because I have waited on thee." (Ps. xxiv. 21)

3. Now, a certain man, of the mendicant order, in his habit a religious, but pernicious in speech, began to gainsay our venerable master in many things; wherefore, when he could not overcome him, he took a journey to the court of Rome, that he might prefer a suit against the man of God, or by some craft get silence imposed on him, which he might well have feared to do, had he been moved by the spirit of God. But God, who is the just judge, and lover of peace, disposed otherwise than that wicked disturber presumed; for he fell suddenly sick in the way, and his whole plot, reduced to nothing, came to an end. There was also another, of the order of Friars-Preachers, an eloquent preacher, having a title and dignity of great note, who having heard of the fair fame of the venerable master, rejoiced with exceeding charity, giving thanks for him with a devout 'mind. Wherefore he sent to him a a friendly letter, written in elegant language, commending the good work begun by him; persuading him not to be cast down by the efforts of the perverse, but to stand firmly, trusting in the Lord, and to pour out more luxuriantly the heavenly streams on the Christian people ; which having heard and read, our master approved in many things, embraced his colleague's holy exhortation in the arms of charity, and to the work of preaching, as to the divine oracles, forthwith armed himself.

CHAP. X.-OF HIS JOURNEY TO THE PARTS OF BRABANT.

1. The pious and humble Master Gerard, hearing of the great and celebrated fame of the venerable Dom. John Rosenbroec, a religious,

« PredošláPokračovať »