God alone is the happiness of our souls: the contemplation of him, and nothing but it, is able fully to open and relieve the mind, to unlock, occupy, and fix our affections…. None but the presence of our Maker can enter us, for to none besides can the whole heart in all its thoughts and feelings be unlocked and subjected. Behold, he says, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and eat with him, and he with me (Rv 3:20). My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him (Jn 14:23). God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts (Gal 4:6). God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything (1 Jn 3:20). It is this feeling of simple and absolute confidence and communion which soothes and satisfies those to whom it is given.
Life passes, riches fly away, popularity is fickle, the senses decay, the world changes, friends die. One alone is constant. One alone is true to us. One alone can be true. One alone can be all things to us. One alone can supply our needs. One alone can train us up to our full perfection. One alone can give a meaning to our complex and intricate nature. One alone can give us tune and harmony. One alone can form and possess us. Are we allowed to put ourselves under his guidance? This surely is the only question. Has he really made us his children, and taken possession of us by his Holy Spirit? Are we still in his kingdom of grace, in spite of our sins?… We trust, that, in spite of our sins, he will receive us still, every one of us, if we seek his face in love unfeigned, and holy fear. Let us then do our part, as he has done his, and much more. Let us say with the Psalmist, Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing upon earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Ps 73:25-6).
Saint John Henry Newman
Saint John Henry Newman († 1890), a cardinal, established the Oratory in Birmingham, England, and was a preacher of great eloquence. [From Waiting for Christ: Meditations for Advent and Christmas. © 2015, Augustine Institute, Greenwood Village, CO.]
This post was published on October 10, 2020 12:49 am
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