MEDITATION OF THE DAY
Where We Secure Our Lives
Our Lord Jesus Christ, after dying for our sins on the cross and ascending on high, left not the world as he found it, but left a blessing behind him. He left in the world what before was not in it: a secret home for faith and love to enjoy, wherever they are found, in spite of the world around us. Do you ask what it is? Scripture speaks of the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit (Eph 2:20-22). This is the Church of God, which is our true home of God’s providing, his own heavenly court, where he dwells with saints and angels, into which he introduces us by a new birth, and in which we forget the outward world and its many troubles….
When men are distressed with anxiety, care, and disappointment, what do they? They take refuge in their families; they surround themselves with the charities of domestic life and make for themselves an inner world, that their affections may have something to rest on. Such was the gift which inspired men anticipated and we enjoy in the Christian Church…. We may be full of sorrows. There may be fighting without and fears within. We may be exposed to the frowns, censure, or contempt of men. We may be shunned by them, or, to take the lightest case, we may be wearied out by the unprofitableness of this world, by its coldness, unfriendliness, distance, and dreariness. We shall need something nearer to us. What is our resource? It is not in the arm of man, in flesh and blood, in the voice of friend, or in a pleasant countenance; it is that holy home which God has given us in his Church. It is that everlasting city in which he has fixed his abode. It is that mount invisible whence angels are looking at us with their piercing eyes and the voices of the dead call us. He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 Jn 4:4). If God is for us, who is against us? (Rom 8:3l).
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.]