Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

HIS EPITAPH. Gerardus Magnus lived like a pious lamb, He did as he spoke, and as he taught he lived. Not like a hypocrite, he was gentle to others, to himself severe; He was a light to the clergy, giving them the light of truth. He was a light to the good, the eye of their mind to the diligent; Despised by the world, he was filled with the Spirit in his heart. His doctrine was a thorn in the side of the false brethren, A laughing-stock to the rain, and hatred to the evil mind. But wbat hurt the false stuck to the true. For he was useful to the clerks in the cause of truth; His doctrine of truth did good to them, and to his lay enemies, So may Christ have mercy upon him : For his law, he bore a heavy weight of care, Yet such he would give free, and all for love. For, touched by the divine influence and inoved by no reward, He resigned his prebends, for he loved Christ; so he struck down the flesh, and cherished the weak. Of his own goods he kept a regular account. So was he in example, as a light in Christ's fair temple. Gerardus Magnus, whom the Lamb truly loveth, Having now overcome death, the lot of the saints holdeth.

THE END, Feast of St. Nicolas of Tolentino, 1842.

KICHARDS, PRINTER, ST. MARTIN'S LANE.

[blocks in formation]

“Disce, 0 Christiane, à Christo, quemadmodum diligas Christum. Disce amare dulciter; amare prudenter, amare fortiter. Dulciter ne illecti, prudenter ne decepti: fortiter, ne oppressi ab amore Domini avertamur."--Sti. Bernardi, super Cantica. Ser. xx. f. 135, L LEARN, O Christian, from Christ, how to love Christ. Learn to love Him sweetly; to love Him wisely ; to love Him firmly. Sweetly, lest other lures withdraw thee; wisely, lest deceit prevail over thee; firmly, lest oppression turn thee away from the love of our Lord.” How sweet and how subtle the lures of the world are, those can best tell who have drank of Circe's cup, who have crowned them with roses, who, in the whirl of enjoyment, have had their senses steeped in sweets ; and learned, by sad experience, that “there is more pain in the thorn,” as the devout Kiselius says, “ than there is delight in the rose ”—“Spinæ plus pungunt quam rosæ recreant." How subtle and unseen the dangers are that, like pitfalls spread with gay leaves, or like the fair herbage of the well's eye, lure the hapless traveller to seek a momentary rest for his feet, wearied with the tall heather and rough gorse of the hills; those can best tell, who have fallen into the one, or hardly been saved from the destruction that awaited them in the other;--but how firm and steadfast must needs be the courage, and how stout the heart, that can trample on the lure, detect the falsehood, yea, and rise triumphant over the weight it matters not of what oppression ;-haply, they only can tell us, who have borne the burthen and the heat of the fiery trial,--even that saintly line, of which in the solemn processions of the Church we have as yet seen but a faint image and likeness ; VOL. VI.

44

but who, like ourselves, once sat in the PORCH OF THE CHURCH; -once by this porch entered into the higher and more lofty grandeur of the heavenly sanctuary.

Breathless, then let us behold them as they pass, and as each moves on, so let us hearken to the words they speak, From the almshouse to the regal palace,- from the rags of poverty to the imperial crown,from infancy to worn-out eld; we shall in this procession behold every grade, and every age :--the simple are there, who looked and loved ; who, without worldly wisdom, in the simplicity of a good heart, listened to the voice of God in his Church, and followed willingly. Such are they who have no learning,—who, like little children, have come to JESUS, and been blessed by Him, for “ the Kingdom of Heaven is for such.” Such, in all nations, in all ages, in all climes, served God in poverty of spirit, and now enjoy beatitude in Heaven. Such are now living, to be one day gathered like ripe shocks of corn into the heavenly granary. Such are they whom, God knows, we may have too often in our pride neglected, if not despised; these are they who now pine in want, in distress, in penury, in sickness, in hospitals, in hovels, in rags, and on straw,—but yet these are they who may one day be OUR INTERCESSORS, who may for the cup of cold water we give them, shower down the holy influence of more steadfast grace, to guide and lead us back, when, in the waywardness of our capricious hearts, we had otherwise wandered over the hills of vanity, a defenceles prey to the watchful enemy.

The learned are there, but it is such as have tempered its powers, and given it a suitable direction at the foot of the Cross; who, like the master spirit of Acquinum, found all that depth of knowledge welling from the Blessed Eucharist. Who, like St. Augustine, gave all this depth to God, who took no pride in their surpassing powers, nor differed from other less learned men, yea, from simple unlettered men, but in this, that they were humbler in spirit, and more abased than those. For as little children they also came to Jesus, and He blessed them, for the Kingdom of Heaven is for such. They came to Jesus,—they drew strength and inspiration from his holy name, they compounded an electuary, as St. Bernard calls it, of assured salvation, from which they learned to be meek and humble of heart, kind, sober, chaste, merciful, in all honesty, and holiness.“ Hæc omnia," he says, “simal mihi donant, cum insonuerit Jesus. Sumo itaque mihi exempla de Homine, ex auxilium à Potente, illa tanquam pigmentaria species, hoc tanquam unde acuam eas, et facio confectionem, cui similem medicorum, nemo

facere possit. Hoc tibi electuarium habes, O anima mea, reconditum in vasculo vocabili hujus, quod est Jesus, salutiferum certè, quodque nulli unquam pesti tuæ inveniatur inefficax. Semper tibi in sinu sit, semper in manu, quo tui omnes in Jesum et sensus dirigantur et actus." « All these sound within me, as the sweet name of Jesu sounds in mine ear. Therefore, for an example, I have Him as man, for my help, Him as the Mighty. And these I take as it were two ingredients, of which I make a certain compound, the like of which no leech can devise. Such an electuary hast thou, O my soul, laid up in the vessel of this one word Jesus, an assured salvation, which in no plague soever shalt thou ever find inefficacious. Let it be, then,” he concludes,—and this is indeed the secret how highest knowledge is consistent with the most profound and childlike humility ;— " Let this be ever in thy bosom; ever in thy hands ; that all thy senses, and all thine actions may ever be directed to Jesus.” “Sensus intus, foris vox"+-" The senses are within, the voice is without;" and therefore it is, that having first cleansed their hearts, and brightened their intellects, by participation of the adorable mysteries, that they opened their lips to His praise, and spake with that depth that make us hold our breath with wonder that God should have vouchsafed such marvellous light and intellect to man. Such are the doctors of the Church, whose“ mouth God opened in the midst of the Church, and whom the Lord filled with the spirit of wisdom and understanding."Such are they " whose wonderful learning not only illustrated the Church of God, but, by their virtues, enlarged it." Such are they who “ loved wisdom, above health and beauty, who chose to have her instead of light, for her light cannot be put out; who learned without guile, and communicated without envy, and whose riches they hid not. For wisdom is an infinite treasure to men, which they that use become the friends of God, being commended for the gifts of discipline."|| (Sap. vii. 10-14.

Such are they whose mouth meditated wisdom, and whose tongue spoke judgment; in whose heart was the law of God; whose steps were never supplanted;"I for “they were vigilant, labouring in all things, doing the work of an evangelist, fulfilling their ministry, they were sober, instant in season, out of season ; they reproved, intreated,

* Sti. Bernardi super Cantica, Ser. xv. fol. 132, L. H. | Id. Ibid. 1. i. I Introit in Miss. xii. D.D. In medio. $ Coll, Deus que, in Festiv. Sti. Thomæ. Aquin. | Epist. in eâdem Festiv.

Grad. in Missa xii. D.D. In medio.

rebuked in all patience and doctrine."* (2 Tim. iv. 3-7.) “They let their light shine before men, who saw their good works, and glorified their Father who is in Heaven.t Therefore it was, that, “ like the palmtree they flourished, and grew up like the cedar of Libanus.”[ And now those, who had been “the instructors of our life here on earth, are become our intercessors in Heaven."'

“Stars of Eternal light,
Lit from insensible fire,—whose mission was

To cast it o'er the earth to kindle there. Behold, also, in this long and stately line, men of every calling and every degree, yet by one only electuary they are what they have been -holy men and women ; they are, what they are now, Blessed Saints in Heaven. There are the rich, and men of high degree, who bore this vial of beatitude in their breasts, and by its virtue, seemed to grow only the more humble, the more ample was the provision of temptations they possessed, and that wealth of inammon, through the fire of which they passed unscathed. For these are they before whose steps, their own souls went as God's almoners, of the substance which His bounty provided ; at whose instance the pains of corporal suffering were wont to be relieved or soothed, --who, in the persons of the poor, beheld the sorrows of the cross ; who set not their heart on riches, though it abounded, nor on the pleasures which follow, like ignis fatuus lights, in its wake to lure them to destruction ; " who could have transgressed, but did not transgress; who could do evil things, but yet did them not.” (Ecclus. xxxi. 10.) For “ Blessed is the rich man that is found without blemish ; and that hath not gone after gold ; nor put bis trust in money, nor in treasures. Who is he? and we will praise him, for be hath done wonderful things in bis life. Who have been tried thereby, and made perfect, he shall have glory everlasting.” (Ibid viii. 10.) These are they who built sanctuaries to the living God, who, out of their abundance founded hospitals for the sick, and almahouses for the poor. Who gave of their substance to the Church ; who erected cloisters for the religious, and convents where virginal purity might be preserved unsullied, and the number of the undefiled who follow the lamb whithersoever he goeth, might be increased.

“Who is he? and we will praise him !” Behold, they are countless in that long litany of the saints, they are countless in the long cen

[ocr errors][merged small]
« PredošláPokračovať »