by Father Daniel Considine, 1950’s
Too Little Sentiment
A sufficient answer to persons who bid us to check all feeling in our dealings with God is surely found in the example of our Divine Master Himself when He walked this earth and went in and out among His Apostles and disciples. He thought it no shame to weep passionate tears over Jerusalem on the day of what seemed His triumph, but which, as He knew, only preluded His doom.
His grief at the death of Lazarus made even His enemies cry out in wonder, “Behold how He loved him”. He invited John to lay his head on His bosom at the Last Supper, and inspired him to put the favor on record for all time, as well as his title of “the disciple whom Jesus loved”.
He would not have little children scolded when they flocked around Him with the sure attraction of childhood to One who understood and loved them, “because of such are the Kingdom of Heaven”.
If Jesus showed such feelings during His mortal life, and made a triple declaration of love by Peter his amends for his triple denial on that Thursday night, it would indeed be a strange conclusion to infer that Our Lord wishes us today to be as ice or marble in our converse with Him, never to move even the lips of our heart, but to hang our heads in His sacred Presence, terrified and abashed.
Has He, who while on earth was the most accessible of men, who put everyone at his ease, after whom, in the phrase of His enemies, “the whole world had gone out”, suddenly changed His ways and nature, and forgotten what manner of Man He was at Nazareth, on Calvary, by the shores of the Lake of Galilee?
It is not the excess of feeling, but the lack of it, which is the danger of the religious world of today.
Delight In the Lord
There is such a thing as breaking with the world on many points and yet not getting possession of God; I do not mean, of course, not getting possession of God’s grace, but not finding that peace and happiness in His service, which is more real and more precious than earth’s keenest joys.
What is the matter with us if such is our state? Very possibly we are taking the pleasures of a fervent life too sadly. Stiffness, coldness, exaggerated awe, do not kill indeed the Presence of the Blessed Trinity in the soul, but shut out Its sensible effects of light and warmth.
When God invites us to be glad in the recollection of His love for us, of all He has done for us and wishes to do for us both now and hereafter, we turn our eyes away to fix them on our unsatisfactory past, or perhaps our unsatisfactory present, and murmur to ourselves: How can God love such a ‘slacker’ as myself? He really can’t mean it.
When God draws nearer to us we draw back in fear as though we ought to keep our distance lest we be guilty of irreverence. What a parody this is of that happy, childlike living with God – the intercourse of a Father with His children which was granted to our First Parents in the beginning, when they were allowed to hear the voice of the Lord God walking in Paradise at the afternoon air!
We are now in many ways more blest than they; the felix Adae culpa, the happy fault of Adam, as the Church is not afraid to call it in the morning service of Holy Saturday, deserved to have the Redeemer with whom our union in His Sacrament is immeasurably closer than the strolling of God with His creatures on the lawns of Paradise when the early evening breezes had begun to temper the heat of the sun.
God is Light, and Love, and Inexhaustible Joy; His Conversation hath no bitterness nor His Company any tediousness (Wisdom viii. 16): what wonder if His servants are happy in His service. He is glad in our gladness; He would have us joyful rather than sad; He grudges us no holiday if only we will take Him everywhere along with us.
The world is wrong believing that it can be happy without Him, but it is sometimes right in suspecting that not all His servants value Him as they ought. Do not let us at least deserve this reproach in our own instance.
This is the time of year that you should be able to get some Epiphany Water in your home! It is very powerful (and who doesn’t need some good power going on in their homes)! The blessing of Epiphany water has special exorcism prayers that no other holy water has. Use it often….teach your children the value of it and get them used to blessing themselves with it.
Excellent sermon! Truth is truth….too many Catholics are looking for loopholes. “Are you saved from eternal death by your conscience or by Jesus Christ? The primacy of conscience is the New Jansenism….”
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