Si non venissem et locutus fuissem eis , peccatum non haberent ; nunc autem excusationem non habent de peccato suo.   1
  3 Seek the Lord ...   2 All Scripture ...   1 ( Jn 15,22 )
  6 Upside down !   5 Degraded Nature   4 On Jesus' Steps !
  9 The weight of glory   8 My Beloved !   7 Twice the evil !
  12 Why have you afflicted your servant ?   11 Taking care of his faith   10 My grace is sufficient for you !
1   22 If I had not come and spoken to them , they would not have had sin ;
but now they have no excuse for their sin.   [  Return   ] «  [ Francais   ]
  Jn 15,22

All scripture ...

2     16 All Scripture is inspired of God and is useful for teaching - for reproof , correction , and training in holiness
17 so that the man of God may be fully competent and equipped for every good work.
   Return   ]   II Tim 3 , 16-17

Seek the Lord ...

3     27 ... that they should seek the Lord ,
if perhaps they might reach out for him and find him ,
though He is not far from each one of us.
28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being...   Acts 17, 27-28 Return   ] « «

Following Jesus !

  4   29 But Peter and the apostles answered :   We must obey God rather than men.   30 God exalted him with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins. 32 We are His witnesses of these things ; and so also is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."

33  But they, when they heard this, were cut to the heart, and determined to kill them 34 But one stood up in the council, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, honored by all the people, and commanded to put the apostles out for a little while.

35 He said to them, " You men of Israel, be careful concerning these men, what you are about to do. 36 For before these days Theudas rose up, making himself out to be somebody ; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves : who was slain ; and all, as many as obeyed him, were dispersed, and came to nothing. 37 After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the enrollment, and drew away some people after him. He also perished, and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered abroad.

38 Now I tell you, withdraw from these men, and leave them alone. For if this counsel or this work is of men, it will be overthrown. 39 But if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow it , and you would be found even to be fighting against God  

40 They agreed with him. Summoning the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 They therefore departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for Jesus' name. Acts : 5 , 29 - 41    [  Return   ] « «

Degraded Nature

  5   When considering the weakness of man, the brittleness of his life, the sufferings that assail him from all sides, the darkness of his reason, the uncertainties of his will « tilted to evil since childhood » , one wonder how a single movement of pride can rise in a so miserable creature, and yet pride fills our degraded nature to the bottom.

According to the thoughts of a Father, « it separates us from wisdom, it makes it that we want to be our own good, as God himself is his good » so true it is that there is madness in crime ! It is then that man seeks himself and admires himself in all that distinguishes him from the others and makes him look greater to his own eyes, in the advantages of the body, spirit, birth, fortune, even grace, thus both misusing the gifts of the Creator and the Redeemer.    [  Return  ] « «

Oh ! what an alarming disorder, and how much we must tremble when we discover in ourselves a feeling of vain kindness, or when we happen to prefer ourselves to one of our brothers. Let us often remind the pharisee of the Gospel, his false piety so content of itself and so guilty before God, his contempt for the publican « who went away justified » because of the humble consent of his misery, and let us say from the bottom of our heart with this one: « My God ! be merciful to me, a sinner » »

Imm JC , 1,07 ; Abbot Felecite of Lamennais

Upside down !

May 19th

  I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth. { #Ec 10:7 }  

  6   Upstarts frequently usurp the highest places, while the truly great pine in obscurity. This is a riddle in providence whose solution will one day gladden the hearts of the upright; but it is so common a fact, that none of us should murmur if it should fall to our own lot.    Return   ] « «

When our Lord was upon earth, although he is the Prince of the kings of the earth, yet he walked the footpath of weariness and service as the Servant of servants: what wonder is it if his followers, who are princes of the blood, should also be looked down upon as inferior and contemptible people? The world is upside down, and therefore, the first are last and the last first.

See how the servile sons of Satan lord it in the earth! What a high horse they ride! How they lift up their horn on high! Haman is in the court, while Mordecai sits in the gate; David wanders on the mountains, while Saul reigns in state; Elijah is complaining in the cave while Jezebel is boasting in the palace; yet who would wish to change places with the proud rebels? and who, on the other hand, might not envy the despised saints? When the wheel turns, those who are lowest rise, and the highest sink. Patience, then, believer, eternity will right the wrongs of time.

Let us not fall into the error of letting our passions and carnal appetites ride in triumph, while our nobler powers walk in the dust. Grace must reign as a prince, and make the members of the body instruments of righteousness. The Holy Spirit loves order, and therefore he sets our powers and faculties in due rank and place, giving the highest position to those spiritual faculties which link us with the great King; let us not disturb the divine arrangement, but ask for grace so that we may keep under our body and bring it into subjection. We were not created anew to allow our passions to rule over us, but that we, as kings, may reign in Christ Jesus over the triple kingdom of spirit, soul, and body, to the glory of God the Father. Daily reading of the Bible #1Ch 24:1-26:32 *

Twice the evil !

May 04th

  Shall a man make gods for himself and they are not gods ? { #Jer 16:20 }  

  7   One great besetting sin of ancient Israel was idolatry, and the spiritual Israel are vexed with a tendency to the same folly. Remphan’s star shines no longer, and the women weep no more for Tammuz, but Mammon still intrudes his golden calf, and the shrines of pride are not forsaken.

« « Self in various forms struggles to subdue the chosen ones under its dominion, and the flesh sets up its altars wherever it can find space for them. Favourite children are often the cause of much sin in believers; the Lord is grieved when he sees us doting ( Ibid 1 ) upon them ( *** ) above measure; they will live to be as great a curse to us as Absalom was to David, or they will be taken from us to leave our homes desolate. « If Christians desire to grow thorns to stuff their sleepless pillows, let them dote on their dear ones.»

It is truly said that   « they are not gods »  , for the objects of our foolish love are very doubtful blessings, the solace which they yield us now is dangerous, and the help which they can give us in the hour of trouble is little indeed.Why then are we so enchanted by vanities ?

We pity the poor heathen who adore a god of stone, and yet worship a god of gold. Where is the vast superiority between a god of flesh and one of wood? The principle, the sin, the folly is the same in either case, only that in ours the crime is more aggravated because we have more light, and sin in the face of it.

The heathen bows to a false deity, but he has never known the true God; we commit two evils, inasmuch as we forsake
 « The Living God »   to turn to idols.

   [  Return   ] « «
May the Lord purge us all from this grievous iniquity!
The dearest idol I have known
Whate’er that idol be;
Help me to tear it from your throne,
And worship only thee ...

( 1 ) Dict ... dote on : to be fond of to an extent which is foolish. She just dotes on her daughters, her peers.
Daily reading of the Bible #2Ki 9:1-10:36 *

Mar 20th

My Beloved !

  8  This was a golden name that the church of old in her most joyous moments was in the habit of giving to the anointed of the Eternal. When for the birds the time of singing had come, and that the voice of the turtledove was heard in her land, her love note was sweeter than any other, as she sang,   « My beloved » is mine and I am his : He feeds among the lilies. Always in her song of songs she calls him by that delightful name, « My beloved ! »  

Even during the long winter, when idolatry had withered the garden of the Lord, her prophets found time to lay aside the burden of the Lord for a short time, and to say, as Isaiah did : « Now I will sing a Canticle to my beloved on his vineyard. ». Though the saints never saw his face, though as yet he was not made flesh, nor had lived among us, nor had man beheld his glory, yet he was the consolation of Israel, the hope and joy of all the chosen ones, the « Beloved » of all those who were upright before the Most High.

We, in the summer days of the church, are also accustomed to speak of Christ as the best beloved of our soul, and to feel that he is very precious, the "chiefest among ten thousand, and altogether lovely." So true is it that the church loves Jesus, and proclaims him as her Beloved, that the apostle dares to defy the whole universe to separate him from the love of Christ, and declares that neither persecutions, distress, affliction, peril, or the sword have been able to do it; indeed, he joyously boasts,

« In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. »

Oh that we know you better, O ever precious one !
My sole possession is your love ;
On earth below, or in heaven above,
I have no other store;
And though with fervent suit I pray,    [  Return   ] « «
And importune you day by day,
I ask you nothing more.
Daily reading of the Bible #Jos 20:1-21:45 *

« The weight of glory »

  9  CONCLUSION: C.S. Lewis concludes the greatest sermon that I have ever read apart the Bible, « the Weight of Glory » , saying : « After the Blessed Sacraments, your neighbor is the most sacred that your senses can perceive »
For, he added , Christ truly hides in both.

My grace is sufficient for you !

Mar 04th

  10  If none of God's saints were poor or tried , we would not know half so well the consolations of divine Grace.
When we find the wanderer who has nowhere to lay his head, who yet can say, "Still I will trust in the Lord";
when we see the pauper starving on bread and water, who still glories in Jesus; when we see the bereaved widow
overwhelmed in affliction, and yet having faith in Christ, oh! what honour it reflects on the gospel.
« God’s grace is illustrated and magnified in the poverty and trials of believers. « « «

Saints bear up under each discouragement, believing that all things work together for their good, and that, out of apparent
evils a real blessing shall ultimately spring - that their God will either work a deliverance for them speedily, or most assuredly
support them in the trouble, as long as he is pleased to keep them in it.
This patience of the saints proves the power of divine grace.   [  Return   ] « «

There is a lighthouse out at sea; it is a calm night - I cannot tell whether the edifice is firm; the tempest must rage around it, and then I shall know whether it will stand. So with the Spirit’s work: if it were not on many occasions surrounded with tempestuous waters, we would not know that it was true and strong; if the winds did not blow upon it, we would not know how firm and secure it was. The master works of God are those men who stand in the midst of difficulties, steadfast, unmoveable.

Calm mid the bewildering cry,
Confident of victory.

He who wishes to glorify his God must be prepared to encounter many trials. No man can be illustrious before the Lord unless his conflicts are many. If then, yours is a much tried path, rejoice in it, because you will the better demonstrate the all sufficient grace of God. As for his failing you, never dream of it -  hate the thought. The God who has been sufficient until now, should be trusted to the end.

Daily reading of the Bible    #2Co 12,9 *

Strong in faith

Mar 19th

  11  Christians, take good care of your faith; for remember faith is the only way by which you can obtain blessings. If we want blessings from God, nothing can bring them down but faith. Prayer cannot draw down answers from God's throne except it is the earnest prayer of the man who believes.

Faith is the angelic messenger between the soul and the Lord Jesus in glory. Let that angel be withdrawn, we can neither send up prayer, nor receive the answers. Faith is the telegraphic wire which links earth and heaven - on which God’s messages of love fly so fast, that before we call he answers, and while we are yet speaking he hears us. But if that telegraphic wire of faith is snapped, how can we receive the promise? Am I in trouble ?  - I can obtain help for trouble by faith. Am I beaten about by the enemy ? - my soul leans on her dear refuge by faith.[  But take faith away - in vain I call to God. There is no road between my soul and heaven. ] In the deepest wintertime faith is a road on which the horses of prayer may travel - indeed, and all the better for the biting frost; but blockade the road, and how can we communicate with the Great King ?   [  Return   ] « « ( Fr )

[Faith links me to divinity. Faith clothes me with the power of God. Faith engages on my side the omnipotence of Jehovah. Faith ensures every attribute of God in my defence. It helps me to defy the hosts of hell. It makes me march triumphant over the necks of my enemies. But without faith how can I receive anything from the Lord ?]

Do not let him who wavers - who is like a wave of the sea - expect that he will receive anything from God! Oh, then, Christian, watch well your faith; for with it you can win all things, however poor you are, but without it you can obtain nothing. "If you can believe, all things are possible for him who believes."

06 [Without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to God ;
for he who comes to Him must believe that God exists,
and that he is a rewarder of those who seek Him.]
Heb 11,6 Daily reading of the Bible   #Jos 17:1-19:51 *

  Afflicting his servant?

Oct 07th - Morning

  12   Our heavenly Father sends us frequent troubles to try our faith. If our faith is worth anything, it will stand the test. Guilt is afraid of fire, but gold is not:   the paste gem dreads to be touched by the diamond, but the true jewel fears no test. It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord’s faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed, and the light of our Father’s countenance is hidden.   A faith which can say, in the direst trouble, *Although He kills me, yet I will trust in Him,* is heaven born faith.  

The Lord afflicts his servants to glorify himself, for he is greatly glorified in the graces of his people, which are his own handiwork. When *tribulation works patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope,* the Lord is honoured by these growing virtues.

We would never know the music of the harp if the strings were left untouched; nor enjoy the juice of the grape if it were not trodden in the winepress; nor discover the sweet perfume of cinnamon if it were not pressed and beaten; nor feel the warmth of fire if the coals were not utterly consumed. The wisdom and power of the great Workman are discovered by the trials through which his vessels of mercy are permitted to pass. Present afflictions tend also to heighten future joy. There must be shades in the picture to bring out the beauty of the lights. Could we be so supremely blessed in heaven, if we had not known the curse of sin and the sorrow of earth ? Will not peace be sweeter after conflict, and rest more welcome after toil ?   Will not the memory of past sufferings enhance the bliss of the glorified ? 

There are many other comforting answers to the question with which we opened our brief meditation, let us muse upon it all day long.

{ Daily Reading: #Mt 15:1-17:27 }