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received the faith, and those who have had the misfortune to lose it, that the light of salvation may shine upon those who sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death' (Luke i. 79). Desire, in short, that the conflict between good and evil may cease; that the ire of the · Prince of this world' (St. John xv. 6), may be destroyed 'for ever; that God will hasten the final triumph over his enemies, 'whom in his judgment he will overcome,' (Ps. 1. 6), that his eternal reign may arrive; and that then, erecting the standard of my cross upon the ruins of the world, I may assemble under it my elect within the city of peace, there to enjoy for eternity the ineffable delights which I had promised them, and there to repose, without alarms, in the perpetual possession of all good, according to the words of the prophet, “I shall be satisfied when my glory shall appear.' (Ps. xvi. 15.)
Thy will be done in heaven. “This petition comprises all that is good, all that is holy, all that is truly to be desired. The will of God is perfect order : without it there is nothing but disorder and sin. What, therefore, ought you to desire but that the divine will should be done, that it should be accomplished in you for your own will, so that being dead to your own will, you may exclaim with me, in anguish and in suffering, in the garden of Gethsemane, or on Calvary, in the struggle and in the pangs of death: not my will but thine be done' (Matth. xxvi. 39); and that this holy will should be accomplished in all creatures, at every moment, in every place, in heaven and on earth, that justice and truth may be linked in eternal bonds, that nothing may separate the hearts of creatures from their first beginning and last end, and that in me, and by me, they may all, and for ever,' be perfectly in one.' (John xvii. 23.)
"«Give us this day our daily bread.
“ Limit to that term all our wishes regarding the earth, where your enjoyment will be so short. • The days of man are as grass ; his flower is as the flower of the field; a breeze fans it and it is gone.' (Ps. cii. 15, 16.) “Be not solicitous for the morrow; the morrow will be solicitous for itself.' (Matth. vi. 30.) How do you know that, “in this very night, your soul may not be required of you ?' (Luke xii. 10.) Pray, therefore, that your heavenly Father will daily give you such sustenance as you need for the day: sustenance for the soul as well as the body; for not on bread alone doth man live, but on every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.' (Matth. iv. 4.) His life is chiefly supported by the divine Eucharist, by my flesh and blood which he receives at the sacred table. Aspire after heavenly possessions, and detach your heart from transient goods. He who entertains many desires is the victim of many sufferings. Trust in God; His providence will not abandon you. "See the birds of the air, they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they ? Seek first the kingdom of God and His justice, and all other things shall be added unto you.' (Matth. vi. 26-33.) Heap not up treasures, my child, for death. Of all labours this is the most ungrateful. Is
it worth while to acquire that which the grave derours,—which we ourselves must quit?
“Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us' “ You are always indebted to God; you are always in need of pardon ; but how can you have the assurance to say “ pardon me"—if you do not yourself pardon your brother; if you are inexorable towards those who have offended you ? "Judgment without mercy 'to him who has not shown mercy.? (James ii. 13.)- who keeps up the memory of a wrong, who fosters enmity in his heart, and repays evil with evil. “He who seeketh' to revenge himself, shall find vengeance from the Lord, and He will surely keep his sins in re'membrance. Forgive thy neighbour, if he hath hurt thee; and then shall thy sins be forgiven to thee when thou prayest. Man to man reserveth anger, and doth he seek no remedy of God? He hath no mercy on a man like himself, and doth he entreat for his own sins ? He that is but flesh' nourisheth anger, and doth he ask forgiveness of God? Who shall obtain pardon for his sins ? Remember thy last things, and let enmity cease. For corruption and death hang over in his commandments.' (Eccles. xxxvii. 1-7.) Be not hardhearted in exacting even that which is due to you. If God were strictly rigorous with you, what would your condition be? Forgive, therefore, because he has forgiven you.
“. And lead us not'into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amén.'
“ When temptation comes, my child, you may always resist and overcome it by the aid of my grace; but such, nevertheless, are the weakness and corruption of man's will, that he often yields. Hence you should often beg of God to remove temptation from you ; to lessen for you the trial which all the children of Adam must undergo : and, above all, to preserve you from falling, to keep you from evil, that is, the evil of sin : for there is no other real evil in the world. Poverty, sickness, pain of body, and anguish of soul, tribulation and persecution, are not, properly speaking, evils. On the contrary, they are blessings, and 'amongst the greatest of blessings, since they were my portion, and serve to carry men to heaven. But to displease God and offend Him, to lose Hi grace,
and expose yourself to the risk of making this loss irrecoverable,this it is that constitutes the true evil, the infinité evil, which forced my justice to dig the pit of hell. Collect them together, my child, all the desires and all the energies of your soul, and 'exclaim, Deliver us from evil.
“ The Disciple. Hitherto, my God, I have used but little reflection in the recital of that divine prayer which thou didst compose, when thy disciples said to thee: "Teach us how to pray.' (Luke i. 1.) Now I begin to understand it, and will make it the subject of frequent meditation. For if I pray without understanding, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is without fruit. What then shall I do? I will pray with the spirit; I will pray also with the understanding. (1 Cor. xiv. 14, 15.)
“ Jesus Christ. The task will be easy, my child, if you avoid dissipation of mind, and habitually turn your thoughts towards me; if love conducts you
to the holy place, to the foot of the tabernacle, where I corporally dwell,' 'for my house is a house of prayer' (Matth. xxi. 13), and there especially may the soul withdraw itself from the noise and tumuļt of the world, and entertain itself with me,-no flights more free, and inyocations more fervent.
“The Disciple. Often, my Lord, have I experienced this truth, When we approach to thy altar, there arises a feeling, within us which cannot be de scribed. It is as if a great calm were spread over the heart, and voices were heard speaking to us from heaven.
“Jesus Carist. Come then, my child, and visit me in my temple: come, if possible, every day.”-pp. 68-80.
Though the above extract be long, yet the following is so sweet, that in spite of our limited space, we cannot resist quoting it, premising that this is a fairer sample of the whole than the longer one we have given above.
“The Disciple. “ As the thirsty stag panteth after the fountains of water ; so doth my soul pant after thee, my God.' (Ps. xli. 2.) Form within me the sentiments which thou dost require. Give to me that I may give back to thee : for what have I to offer thee but thine own gifts. Oh my Jesus! detach my beart from everything which is not thyself; break asunder the last thread which binds me to creatures, that being henceforth not only united to, but identified with thee; I may say, in the words of the apostle:-with Jesus Christ I am nailed to the cross, and now I live not I, but Christ liveth in me. And that I live now in the flesh, I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and delivered himself for me. (Gal. ii. 19, 20.)
Jesus Christ. When the soul is thus prepared, and in the ardour of its affection has only the words of the Canticle to repeat: “Draw me, oh my beloved, and I will run after thee, to the odour of thy ointments.' (Cant. i. 3.) My beloved is to me as a bundle of myrrhs: as a cluster of cypress my beloved is to me, in the vineyards of Engaddi.' (Ibid. i. 13, 14.) «Under his shadow have I desired to sit.' (Ibid. ii. 3.) Stay me up with flowers, compass me with fruits, because I languish with love.' (Ibid. ii. 5.) Then do I yield to the violence of her transports, and, in return, I call upon her, as the spouse calls upon his betrothed : Arise, make haste, my love, my beautiful one, and
For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone; the days in which sin separated thee from me; the days in which the flames of my charity warmed not your heart; the time, also, for the austerities and tears of penance is passed away; the flowers have appeared in our land ;' peace of heart and the delights of my presence have I given to thee; the time of singing is cone; the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; the fig-tree hath put forth her green figs; the vines in flower yield their sweet smell:' everything is ready for our union; arise, oh my love, my beautiful one, and come.' (Cant. ii. 10-13.)
“ The Disciple. Oh yes, my God, I will arise, I will run to Thee, since Thou invitest me to come. Behold me, then, at the foot of thy altar. I receive, I possess the celestial bridegroom. 'I have found Him whom my soul loveth; I have held Him, and will never let Him go.' (Cant. iii. 4.) • My beloved is to me, and I to my beloved.' (Ibid. ii. 16.) 'I have placed Him as a seal upon my heart (Ibid. viii. 6), there shall He remain for ever. All else is wearisome, burthensome, dolorous. I desire only my beloved; I want none other than Him, until the day (of eternity) shall break, and the shadows (of mortality) shall retire.' (Cant. ii. 17.)
“JESUS CHRIST. After thou hast in silence, my child, tasted the chaste delights of my presence; after having cast thyself into my arms, and abandoned thyself to the transports of holy joy without voice or recollection, or distinct idea, almost without any definable sensation, and, were,
swallowed up in love; awake from the sweet reverie, and listen to that which I shall speak to thee, for I shall speak unto thee words of peace.' (Ps. Ixxxiv. 9.) 'I will teach thee the way of wisdom' (Prov. iv. 11), and inform thee of the land of promise to which it leads. I will animate thee to fresh zeal in my service; I will show thee what are the imperfections which still displease me in thy life, and tell thee how to remove them. I will strengthen thee by my counsels; I will inspire thee with vigorous resolutions; my light shall penetrate thy understanding; my grace shall gire new impulse to thy heart. Before me it shall open itself to discover to me its hidden thoughts. Thy wants, thy temptations, thy weaknesses, the perverse inclinations which thou findest so difficult to repress, will be disclosed to me with candour and confidence. Thou wilt tell me all; thou wilt conceal nothing from me; thou wilt speak to me as thy dearest, thy most devoted, thy most faithful friend. Where love is intense, confidence is unbounded. Yet, what canst thou tell me that I do not know already? Nevertheless, I wish to hear it again from thee; I wish to see thy soul empty itself into mine. Art thou in distress? Unbosom thyself to Him who can give thee consolation. Sufferings thou must have. “It is through many tribulations that men enter into the kingdom of God (Acts xiv. 21); but I will moderate thy afflictions; I will assuage thy tribulations; I will aid thee to bear thy Cross.'—pp. 148-152.
By this time, we think our readers will agree with us, that there is much of the tone and spirit of à Kempis in the pages of this little work.' In conclusion, we have only to say, that the translation is very well done, and free from all Gallicisms. We would have wished that the authorised version of the holy Scriptures had been more rigidly adhered to in the numerous quotations which occur throughout; but this is a very venial oversight, and which may readily be corrected in a succeeding edition, of which we wish it may have many.
Feast of St. Theresa, 1842.
Sermons for all the Sundays of the Year. Translated from the Italian
of St. Alphonsus M. Liguori, Bishop of St. Agatha, and founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. 8vo. pp. 376. Dublin: James Duffy, 25, Anglesea-street, 1842.
This goodly octavo contains short exhortations or skeleton sermons for all the Sundays of the Year; and we need say no more in its praise, than that it is from the pen of St. Alphonsus Liguori. When we first perused the volume, we were so well pleased, that we at once resolved to make copious extracts, or rather to have embodied some of the marrow of the blessed saint's writings, as a treat of no small value to our devout readers,—when it occurred to us, that as for the last few months we had been laying a tax on the Holy Fathers in their behoof, it would be but fair to do the like with the writings of one who inay be said to have been almost our contemporary, and whose solemn beatification so refreshed the Church no longer ago than Trinity Sunday 1840. As an additional apology for so doing, we found that two out of the four Sundays in the current month are interesting, being taken from Sundays which usually fall between the Epiphany and Septuagesima; but as we were about to mark the fatal homilies for transplanting, we fell in with others which pleased us more than those more especially falling due at this period; and so without further words we lay them before our readers,—for their approval, we are sure, and edification,
But we have yet one word to say. Before doing this, we cannot help passing a few words of praise on the manner in which the volume is got up, and to congratulate Mr. Duffy on his having taken away the reproach from the sister metropolis, which has been hitherto but too justly applied to her, for the slovenly and careless way in which books have been brought out in Dublin, printed as they have been, for the most part hitherto, in bad type, wretched taste, and on paper worse than either. But in the work now before us, as well as in others issued by the same spirited publisher, we have no fault to find; indeed, they are such as would reflect credit on the press of the metropolis.
Trusting that our extracts, though wholesale, may induce our readers to seek a further acquaintance with these devout exhortations, we proceed at once, and give first that for the fourth Sunday after Advent, “On the love of Jesus Christ for us, and on our obligation to love HIM.” (pp. 20 to 26.) And that “On conformity to the will of God," for Pentecost Sunday.