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after all that would have been but a superficial loving of His humanity. Love for Him as He really is must in almost all cases be a thing of slow growth, learned very gradually. Nevertheless it is our duty, as the children of God, to make ourselves love our Lord.
1. The first step in such study is to have in our hearts a very earnest desire to please Him, to do His holy will, to be His faithful followers. It is perfectly possible by the exercise of the will to make the desire of pleasing Him the ruling thought of one's life.
2. Many of us fancy that we have already attained to this, perhaps even that we have gone on much higher than this in developing in our lives a love for Christ. The proof is to be sought in that which should be the second stage in the manifestation of love for Him; that is, obedience to His precepts. The doing of the things which He commands is a fundamental factor in love of Him. To those Jews He said, Ye do the deeds of your Father. We know that by their father He meant Satan. How lamentable a thing it would be if He should say that also of any of us! Yet if we are not whole-heartedly doing the deeds of God, we are surely doing those of the devil, and our longing desire of loving Christ is the veriest unreality.
Second Thought.-His next words bring out for us in a very wonderful way the necessity of a hearty acceptance of Catholic theology, if we are to learn to love our Lord in any worthy fashion. One might fall in love with the story of His life upon earth, with all its unselfishness and gracious compassion for mankind; but even so the object of our love would be no more than a memory. We never can reproduce those scenes in reality. But the Catholic theology brings Him before us as in the Substance of the Blessed Trinity: I proceeded forth, and came from God, it tells us of Him. We are taught to think of Him even now as in the glory of the divine Being, almighty, all-wise, holy; dwelling with the Father and the Holy Ghost in the light which no man can approach unto. All of this becomes real to the believer who will have it so through the Church's worship, her great songs of praise, her sublime petitions, her adorable sacrifice of the altar. The divine loveliness of our Lord's personality is brought home thus to the devout worshipper, and love for such a Lord grows apace in his heart. Yet again: the Master adds, Neither came I of myself, but He sent me. This is the declaration of His incarnation. The loyal believer is made to contemplate his Lord in all the amazing work of redemption, from the condescension of the
manger to the pathos of the cross, to the triumph of the resurrection. Was ever such a Lord revealed to His creatures before! This is daily brought home to one, if he be but attentive and devout, in the round of the Church's festivals and fasts, the succession of her great holy-days. And all of it is made to sink into the innermost recesses of his heart by the faithful use of the sacraments, whereby the personal union of the believer with his incomparable Saviour is in very truth effected.
Third Thought.-Those Jews of old could not at that time have grasped these mysteries of the Master's revelation of Himself; nevertheless had they been in spiritual touch with the deeper sense of the Old Testament Scriptures, they could not but have realized some of the great truths He sought to impress upon them. But they had little spirituality; they could not hear His word because such religion as they had was but perfunctory and mechanical; the teachings which He would give them were of necessity incomprehensible to unspiritual minds.
We are wont to complain of the difficulty of understanding the Gospel revelation; our Lord utters so many hard sayings, as it seems to us. May it not be that we do not understand His
speech because we cannot hear His Word? His Word demands of us obedience, self-denial, unworldliness, humility, a glad following in His steps. The doctrine does not please us; it is too hard, we will not hear it. Therefore all His deeper lessons about heaven, and the Being of God, and the life of the saints, fall upon unsympathetic and incredulous ears.
"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it."-St. John viii. 44.
Exposition.-St. Chrysostom says: "He had driven them out of their relationship to Abraham, and when they dared greater things, He then addeth a blow, telling them that they not only are not Abraham's children, but that they are even children of the devil, and inflicting a wound which might counterbalance their shamelessness; nor doth He leave it unsupported but establisheth it by proofs. For, He saith, to murder belongeth to the wickedness of the devil. And He said not merely, Ye do his works, but Ye do his lusts, showing that both he and they hold to murder, and that envy was the cause.
"For the devil destroyed Adam, not because he had any charge against him, but only from envy. To this also He alludeth here. And