Friday, May 22, 2015

The Light of Truly Believing Souls

The Light of Truly Believing Souls
                At Easter it was the Lord's resurrection which was the cause of our joy; our present rejoicing is the Lord's ascension into heaven.  We are commemorating that day on which our poor human nature was carried up, in Christ, above all the hosts in heaven, above all the ranks of angels, beyond the highest heavenly powers to the very throne of God the Father.  In this act, the grace of God shows itself still more marvelous when, in spite of Christ's withdrawal from men's sight, faith does not fail, hope is not forsaken, charity does not grow old.
                Such faithfulness could never be born in our hearts, nor could anyone be justified by faith, if our salvation lay only in what was visible.  Instead, through the grace of God, great minds and the light of truly believing souls put unhesitating faith in what is not seen with the bodily eye.
                 Even the blessed apostles, though they had been strengthened by so many miracles and instructed by so much teaching, took fright at the cruel suffering of the Lord's passion and could not accept his resurrection without hesitation.  Yet they made such progress through his ascension that they now found joy in what terrified them before.  They were able to fix their minds on Christ's divinity since their bodily eyes no longer hindered them from turning all their attention to the realization that he had not left his Father when he came down to earth, nor had he abandoned his disciples when he ascended into heaven.
                Our Redeemer's visible presence has passed into the sacraments.  Faith is nobler and stronger because sight has been replaced by a doctrine whose authority is accepted by believing hearts, enlightened from on high.  This faith was increased by the Lord's ascension and strengthened by the gift of the Spirit; it would remain unshaken by fetters and imprisonment, exile and hunger, fire and ravening beasts, and the most refined tortures ever devised by brutal persecutors. 
                Let us follow the example of those throughout the world- women no less than men, tender girls as well as boys-who have given their life's blood in the struggle for this faith.  It is a faith that has driven out devils, healed the sick and raised the dead.  And for this faith, over 200 young girls in Africa have been kidnapped and held, this month, this year.  What do we do for our faith?  Are we truly believing souls?  (gleaned from a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope)  kvs

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