Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wisdom from…

ST. JOHN EUDES (1601–1680)*: Relying on the goodness of God

Our beloved Savior assures us in various places in his holy scriptures that he never ceases to watch over and care for us, and that he carries us and will always carry us in his own bosom, in his heart, and in his soul. Even if there were a mother who came to forget the child she bore in her womb, he would never forget us; he has written us on his hands, so as to have us always before his eyes; whoever touches us touches the apple of his eye; we should never be anxious about what we need to live on and to wear, for he knows very well that we need these things and takes care to provide them for us.

Let us beware of ever relying on the influence or favor of our friends, on our possessions, intelligence, knowledge, strength, good desires, and resolutions; on our prayers, or even on the confidence we are aware of having in God; on human resources or on any created thing, but solely on the mercy of God. It is not that we should make no use of the things I have mentioned, and bring to our aid everything we can to help us overcome our faults, practice virtue, manage and carry out the work God has put into our hands, and fulfill the duties of our station in life. But we must give up all idea of expecting support from these things, and all the confidence we might have in them, and rely entirely on the goodness of our Lord.
(The Kingdom of Jesus, Oeuvres I, 238-239.)

John joined the secular clergy and then the Oratory. He was a great preacher and also founded a religious congregation for the running of seminaries. Father Eudes, during his long life, preached not less than one hundred and ten missions, three at Paris, one at Versailles, one at St-Germaine-en-Laye, and the others in different parts of France. Normandy was the principal theatre of his apostolic labours.

* The website from which I got this quotation had written 1601–1860 for Eudes's dates! I saw fit to adjust it to a postdiluvian age.

ST. AUGUSTINE: The Providence of God

God is the unchanging conductor as well as the unchanged creator of all things that change. When he adds, abolishes, curtails, increases, or diminishes the rites of any age, he is ordering all events according to his providence. This will hold good until the beauty of the completed course of time––whose parts are the dispensations suitable to each different period––shall have played itself out, like the great melody of some ineffable composer.
-- Letter 138, 1

Prayer. Instruct me, Lord, and command what you will. But first heal me and open my ears that I may hear your words.
-- Soliloquies 1, 1


God undoubtedly prepared paradise only for such as He foresaw would be His. Therefore let us be His both by faith and by works, and He will be ours by glory. It is in our power to be His, for although to belong to God is a gift from God, yet it is a gift that God denies to no one. God offers it to all and gives it to those who sincerely consent to receive it. Note well, I beg of you, how ardently God desires us to be His, since to this end He has made Himself entirely ours. He gives us both His death and His life: His life, so that we may be freed from eternal death; His death, so that we can enjoy eternal life. Let us live in peace, then, and serve God so as to be His in this mortal life and still more so in life eternal.
(T.L.G. Book 3, Ch. 5; O. IV, pp. 186-187)


IN a hollow of the grey-green hills of rainy Ireland lived an old, old woman, whose uncle was always Cambridge at the Boat Race. But in her grey-green hollows, she knew nothing of this; she didn't know that there was a Boat Race. Also she did not know that she had an uncle. She had heard of nobody at all, except of George the First, of whom she had heard (I know not why), and in whose historical memory she put her simple trust. And by and by, in God's good time, it was discovered that this uncle of hers was really not her uncle, and they came and told her so. She smiled through her tears, and said only, 'Virtue is its own reward.'
('The Napoleon of Notting Hill.')

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