Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Good Fervor

We should at long last rouse ourselves, prompted by the words of Scripture: Now is the time for us to rise from sleep.  Our eyes should be open to the God-given light, and we should listen in wonderment to the message of the divine voice as it daily cries out: Today,, if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts; and again, If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.  And what does the Spirit say?  Come my sons, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.  Hurry, while you have the light of life, so that death's darkness may not overtake you.
               The Lord seeks the one who will do his work among the throng of people.  And, if you say I will, God says to you:  If you desire true and everlasting life, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from deceit; turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.  And when you have done these things my eyes will be upon you and my ears will be attentive to your prayers; and before you call upon my name I shall say to you:  Behold, I am here.
                What could be more delightful, dearest friends, than the voice of our Lord's invitation to us?  In his loving kindness he reveals to us the way of life.  And so, girded with faith and the performance of good works; let us follow in his paths by the guidance of the Gospel; then we shall deserve to see him who has called us into his kingdom.  If we wish to attain a dwelling-place in his kingdom we shall not reach it unless we hasten there by our good deeds. 
               Just as there exists an evil fervor, a bitter spirit, which divides us from God, so there is a good fervor which sets us apart from evil inclinations and leads us toward God and eternal life.  We should put this fervor into practice with an overflowing love.  Whenever you do any good work, you should first of all make a most pressing appeal to Christ our Lord to bring it to perfection.  For we must always serve him with the good things he has given us.      From the Rule of Benedict, abbot
               Here we have another view of how to demonstrate our faith.  Begin with prayer.  Ask for Christ's blessing on our good work.  But, this good work is by invitation.  To receive the invitation to do Christ's will, we have to be quiet, listen, then act.  Do we follow his paths guided by the Gospel?  Do we do the good works as invited? 

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