Monday, 20 March 2017

The Catholic Church Alone. The One True Church of Christ. Part 226.

SIX VOLUMES IN ONE BY THE DISTINGUISHED EXPONENTS OF CATHOLICISM

REV. HENRY DODRIDGE, D. D. REV. HENRY EDWARD MANNING, D. D.REV. F. LEWIS, of Granada REV. STEPHEN KEENAN REV. BERNARD VAUGHAN, S. J. REV. THOMAS N. BURKE, O. P. 


We may also conceive it from the just themselves, God's true friends ; for if you look into the hearts of those persons, you will find their greatest concern and desire, and the perpetual employment* of their thoughts, is the service of God, and the putting themselves in a condition of doing something for him, who has done, and who continues every day to do so much for them, treating them with such sweetness and love. If, therefore, man, of himself so unfaithful, and so unable to do any good, can nevertheless be so faithful to God, what is there that God will not do for him ?—God, who is infinite in his fidelity and love. If it is the property of God, as the Psalmist says, "to be holy with the holy, and good with the good " (Ps. xvii. 26), and if man can arrive to such a degree of goodness, as we have said he can, how far will the goodness of God reach ? If God should vie with just men on this point, how much will he outdo them in this glorious strife ? If, therefore, a good man is willing to do so much to make himself pleasing to God, what will not God do in return to comfort and please him ? He will do more than we can express or conceive. For this reason the prophet Isaias says, " The ear hath not heard, neither hath the eye seen what thou, O God, hast prepared for them that wait for thee;" ch. lxiv. 4. This is to be understood, not of the goods of glory only, but, according to St. Paul (1 Cor. ii.), of those of grace too.

This surely may suffice to show how pleasant the way of virtue is, and that the delights of this world are not to be compared with what the just enjoy. For what comparison is there between light and darkness, Christ and Belial, between the pleasures of earth and those of heaven, the satisfactions of the flesh, and those of the spirit, the thoughts which come from the creature, and those from the Creator ? It is certain the more excellent it is, the more capable it is of contenting us. What did the prophet mean else, when he said, " Better a little to the just, than the great riches of the wicked !" Ps. xxxvi. 10. And in another place: " I had rather be the abject person in the house of my God, than dwell in the tabernacles of sinners ; "Ps. lxxxiii. 11. These words of the Spouse, in the Canticles, teach us the same lesson : " Thy breasts are better than wine." And a little lower : " We will be glad and rejoice in thee, remember my breasts more than wine " (Cant. i. 1, 3) ; that is to say, we will think of the most delicious milk of comforts, and caresses more sweet than wine, with which you feed your spiritual children at your breasts. It is certain, that neither material wine nor material milk is meant here; for by these are understood the pleasures of the world, which the lewd woman in the Apocalypse (xvii.), seated over many waters, clothed in scarlet and holding a golden cup in her hand, made the inhabitants of Babylon drunk with; thus drowning their senses, that they might be heedless of their ruin.