Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Wisdom from… [1 Apr]

THOMAS OF JESUS (1529–1582): We must become like Jesus and Mary

Jesus took care of his mother, spoke to her, gave her for a son the disciple he loved, and said to that disciple, Behold your mother. As Saint John here represented all peoples, our Savior commanded us all in his person to honor and serve the Blessed Virgin as our Mother. It was, nevertheless, a great consolation to that afflicted Mother to hear the voice of her only Son. She knew that by adopting a second son she ceased not to be the mother of the first, whom she regarded as her Creator and her God. The holy virgin accepted Saint John as her son in the same way as she accepted, at the same time, all the human race as her children. Mary accepted this trust because she clearly saw that it was the will of Christ, and that people, after having treated him so badly, would never presume to return to him if he did not give them his own mother to act as a mediatrix.

She entered fully into her Son's intentions, assumed the heart of a mother for all sinners, and looked upon them as the children of sorrow whom she had brought forth at the foot of the cross. Thus that sea of sufferings into which Jesus and Mary were plunged has become for sinners a river of peace and a fountain of blessings.
(Sufferings of Jesus, Book I, chapter 47.)

Thomas was an Augustinian friar, and, while in prison in Africa and ministering to his fellow prisoners, wrote the book The Sufferings of Jesus, a work which has guided many people on the path to holiness, particularly Saint Elizabeth Ann Seaton of the United States who was greatly influenced by the work.

Lose yourself in Christ, and so find yourself in Christ. Drown in His sorrows, and so rise again in His glory. Be showered with His blood, and so be cleansed by His blood. In so doing, you are never alone; for in losing yourself, you gain the family of the Anointed One. We are blessed even to confess our need for His grace, and humbled to know we only belong in His family by blood-swollen grace. To be ashamed of the Gospel is to be ashamed of the truths it speaks about us, namely, that we have tortured the incarnate God and that we stand in utter need.

ST AUGUSTINE: The Crucifixion is Always Lived

The crucifixion is something that must continue throughout our life, not for forty days only, although Moses, Elijah, and Christ fasted for forty days. We are meant to learn from them not to cling to this present world or imitate its ways, but to nail our unregenerate selves to the cross.
-- Sermon 205, 1

Prayer. Lord, we give you thanks for your mercy. You wanted to die so that someone should rise from the dead. And someone, not anyone, but truth rose from the dead.
-- Commentary on Psalm 147, 17

The denial of truth is in fact a renewed form of crucifying Christ, the Truth. A passionate pursuit of the truth is in fact a desire for the imperishability of Truth, in the resurrection of Chris.


Friendship based on the pleasures of the senses I mean is coarse and does not deserve the name of friendship. The same holds true for friendships based on vain and frivolous qualities, since they also have their roots in the senses. By pleasures of the senses I mane those that principally originate from the external senses, such as pleasure in looking at beautiful things or listening to a sweet voice, pleasure of touch and the like. Friendships based on such things deserve to be called follies rather than friendships!
(INT. Part III, Ch. 17; O. III, p. 196)


WE shall never make anything of democracy until we make fools of ourselves. For if a man really cannot make a fool of himself, we may be quite certain that the effort is superfluous.
('The Defendant.')

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