It seems to me that Jesus Christ after his resurrection allowed his wounds only to be touched: Noli me tangere. We must unite ourselves to his sufferings only.

At the Last Supper he gave himself in communion as one about to die; to the disciples at Emmaus as one risen from the dead; to the whole Church as one ascended into heaven.

Compare not thyself with others, but with me. If thou findest me not in those with whom thou comparest thyself, thou comparest thyself with him that is abominable. If thou findest me there compare thyself to me. But who is it that thou dost compare? Thyself, or me in thee? If it be thyself it is one that is abominable; if it be me thou comparest me to myself. Now I am God in all.

I speak and often counsel thee because thy Guardian can not speak to thee, for I will not that thou shouldest lack a guide.

And perhaps I do so at his prayers, and thus he leads thee without thy seeing it.

Thou wouldest not seek me unless thou didst possess me. Therefore be not troubled.

Be comforted; it is not from yourself that you must expect it; but on the contrary, expecting nothing from yourself, you must await it.

Pray that ye enter not into temptation. It is dangerous to be tempted, and those alone are tempted who do not pray.

Et tu conversus confirma fratres tuos. But before, conversus Jesus respexit Petrum.

Saint Peter asked permission to strike Malchus, and struck before having the answer; Jesus Christ answered afterwards.

I love poverty because he loved it. I love wealth because it gives the power of helping the miserable. I keep my troth to everyone; rendering not evil to those who do me

wrong; but I wish them a lot like mine, in which I receive neither good nor evil from men. I try to be just, true, sincere, and faithful to all men; I have a tender heart for those to whom God has more closely bound me; and whether I am alone or seen of men I place all my actions in the sight of God, who shall judge them, and to whom I have consecrated them all.

Such are my opinions, and each day of my life I bless my Redeemer who has implanted them in me, who has transformed me, a man full of weakness, misery, and lust, of pride and ambition, into a man exempt from these evils, by the power of his grace, to which all the glory is due; since of myself I have only misery and sin.



EMBERS. To begin with that.-To regulate the love which we owe to ourselves, we must imagine a body full of thinking members, for we are members of the whole, and see how each member should love itself, etc. . . .

If the feet and the hands had each a separate will they could only be in their order in submitting this separate will to the primary will which governs the whole body. Apart from that they are in disorder and misfortune, but in willing only the good of the body they find their own good.

Morality. God having made the heavens and the earth, which cannot feel the happiness of their being, he has been pleased to make beings who should know it, and who should compose a body of thinking members. For our members do not feel the happiness of their union, of their admirable intelligence, of the care which nature has taken to infuse into them a mind, and to make them grow and endure. How happy would they be if they could see and feel it. But in order to this they must needs have intelligence to know it, and good will to consent to that of the universal soul. For if, having received intelligence, they used it to retain nourishment for themselves without allowing it to pass to the other members, they would be not only unjust but also miserable, and would hate rather than love themselves, their blessedness as well as their duty consisting in their consent to the guidance of the

general soul to which they belong, who loves them better than they love themselves.

To be a member, is to have neither life, being, nor movement save by the spirit of the body, and for the body; the separate member, seeing no longer the body to which it belongs, has only a waning and dying existence. Yet it believes it is a whole, and seeing not the body on which it depends, it believes it depends only on self and wills to constitute itself both centre and body. But not having in itself a principle of life, it only goes astray, and is astonished in the uncertainty of its being; fully aware that it is not a body, yet not seeing that it is a member of a body. Then when at last it arrives at the knowledge of self, it has returned as it were to its own home, and loves itself only for the body's sake, bewailing that in the past it has gone astray.

It cannot by its nature love ought else, if not for itself and to subject it to self, since each thing loves itself above all. But in loving the body it loves itself, because it has no being but in it, by it, and for it. Qui adhæret Deo unus

spiritus est.

The body loves the hand, and the hand, if it had a will, should love itself in the same proportion as that in which it is loved by the soul. All love beyond this is unjust.

Adhærens Deo unus spiritus est. We love ourselves because we are members of Jesus Christ. We love Jesus Christ because he is the body of which we are members. All is one, one is in the other, like the Three Persons.

The examples of the noble deaths of the Lacedæmonians and others scarce touch us, for what good do they to us? But the example of the death of the martyrs touches us, for they are our members. We have a common tie with them, their resolution can form ours, not only by example, but because it has perhaps merited ours. There is nothing of this in the examples of the heathen; there is no bond between us. As we do not become rich by seeing a rich stranger, but by seeing a father or a husband who is so.

[ocr errors]

We must love God only, and hate self only.

If the foot had always been ignorant that it belonged to the body, and that there was a body on which it depended, if it had only had the knowledge and the love of self, and if it came to know that it belonged to a body on which it depended, what regret, what confusion for the past life, for having been useless to the body from which its whole life was derived, which would have reduced it to nothing if it had rejected it and separated it from itself, as it held itself apart from the body. What prayers for its preservation in the body, with what submission would it allow itself to be governed according to the will which rules the body, even to consent, if need be, that it should be cut off, or it would lose its character of member. For each member must be content to perish for the body, for which alone the whole exists.

To ensure the happiness of the members, they must have one will, and submit it to the body.

It is false that we are worthy of the love of others, it is unjust that we should desire it. If we were born reasonable and impartial, knowing ourselves and others, we should not give this bias to our will. But we are born with it; we are therefore born unjust, for all tends to self. This is contrary to all order. We should look to the general advantage, and the inclination to self is the beginning of all disorder, in war, in politics, in economy, and in man's own body.

The will therefore is depraved. If the members of natural and civil communities tend towards the well-being of the body, the communities themselves should tend to the welfare of another more general body of which they are members. We should therefore look to the whole. We are therefore born unjust and depraved.

He who hates not in himself his self-love, and that instinct which leads him to make himself a God, is indeed blinded. All must see that nothing is so opposed to justice

« VorigeDoorgaan »