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Him alone, He cannot therefore abandon them and leave them alone; very soon He will gather them again, and abide with them. And the days will come when in the world indeed they shall have distress, sore distress and numberless tribulations, but in the midst of their distress they will find their peace in Him. For while contemplating Him in His infirmities, virtue will come out to them, and they will hear Him say that word: Have confidence, I have overcome the world.
In these days of grace that are coming, enlightened by the Spirit of Truth, they will understand that their Master conquered the world by meekly enduring all that the world could inflict on Him; that His meekness and patience tired out both the world and the princes of the world. They remained baffled, and He was victorious. It is St. Denis the Areopagite who speaks of the almighty weakness of Christ Jesus.
B. Have confidence, I have overcome the world.
How comes it then that the world has still such a destructive power? Men declare that it is quite impossible to resist the fascinations and the exceeding great power of the world.
One answer might be, that now it has power only over those who are willing to be conquered. A further explanation is this : He has conquered this world, not by crushing and destroying its good things, but by the method which a wise mother adopts to get the better of her wilful little child bent on keeping possession of a dangerous plaything; she does not wrench it away by force, but shows the child something more bright and attractive, and at once the mischievous toy is dropped that the brighter one may be secured. So has our Lord done with us in order to conquer the world. To win us away from this world, He has shown us His own loveliness. His plan was to become Himself the alluring apple hanging on the tree. 1, if I be lifted up, will draw all things to Myself (St. John xii.). If we choose to make leisure and look at Him, little by little we shall be drawn strongly to Him, and the world will lose all its power over us.
But if we will not find time to look at our Lord Jesus Christ, and to know Him, we shall not love Him; and if we love not Him, this world will have over us all its ancient power. For, as has been said, our Lord has not destroyed all that was attractive in the universe, but has set before us something better—the goodness of the Creator, the goodness of our Redeemer—so that we may love the Giver more than His gifts, and the Creator more than His work.
THE PRAYER OF OUR LORD.
Here we may, perhaps, in contemplation assume that our Blessed Saviour rises. Do His little flock also stand around Him; or do they kneel while He pours forth from the depths of His Heart that prayer which we may consider the close of the thanksgiving service after the Holy Mass and the great First Communion ?
We will fix the eyes of our soul on His reverential attitude, on the heavenly beauty of His countenance inflamed by the fire burning in His Heart. We will listen to the tones of His voice, so solemn and so full of emotion. We will watch our Blessed Lady, who with her heart and her whole being responds to every word that comes from the Heart of her Son. We will also notice how virtue passes from our Saviour into the souls of His disciples, and how they all with great fervour join in His farewell prayer.
Father, the hour is come : glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son may
glorify Thee. As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He may give eternal life to all whom Thou hast given to Him (St. John xvii. 1, 2).
A. What is our Blessed Saviour asking for when He says, Glorify Thy Son ?
1. His glory is to be obedient to His Father unto death, to prove that His love is stronger than death, and all manner of torments of soul and body.
2. His glory is to endure all that the enemies of His Father can inflict on Him, and to conquer them by endur
3. His glory is to rescue the children of His Father out of the grasp of Satan, at the cost of His own life. Therefore, His prayer is that every shape and form of sorrow which can glorify His Father may come to Him, but that all the designs of His enemies may be so controlled and overruled, that all shall co-operate unto good, and promote the glory of His Father.
Have we courage to unite in this prayer of our Lord ? Glorify me, my God; give me the honour, the glory, the blessed privilege of drinking of Thy chalice with Thee, of drawing many souls to Thee, and, by suffering myself, of filling up the things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ" (Coloss. i.).
B. As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He may give eternal life to all whom Thou hast given Him.
Therefore, again, “Father, glorify Thy Son by overruling the testimony of witnesses and the sentences of judges, and by multiplying miracles in such a way that it shall be manifest to all that Thy Son is not a malefactor, but Thy Christ, Thy Messias, Thy well-beloved and only Son, that so He may be able to bring to eternal life all whom Thou hast given to Him”.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus has only one desire, to use the boundless power given to Him for the salvation of all the children of His Father.
Anima Christi, sanctifica me.
C. What wonderful things have those holy men done for God and for the salvation of souls, who, in union with their Divine Master, devoted all their powers to God's work, and said heartily and most earnestly: “Take, O Lord,
: and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and all my will. All these things Thou gavest to me, my God, to Thee I give them all back.”
Now this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent (v. 3).
A. “If eternal life is to know Thee, O Father, and Thy Son, then multiply signs and wonders, and order all things so, that the humiliations of My Passion may not hinder men from knowing Me, and through Me arriving at the knowledge of Thee."
B. If eternal life consists in knowing Jesus Christ anä the Eternal Father, we can begin our Heaven here by labouring diligently and praying earnestly to know Them more and more perfectly.
C. Let us fix this idea of Heaven in our minds, that close intimacy with our Father and with our Lord Jesus Christ will be our Heaven, and that through knowing Them we shall necessarily become like to Them.
I have glorified Thee on earth. I have finished the work
that Thou gavest Me to do. And now glorify Thou Me with the glory that I had, before the world was, with Thee (vv. 4, 5).
A. “O vos omnes attendite.” Let us stay and listen most attentively, and contemplate our Blessed Saviour as He speaks; for so virtue will come out from His Heart to ours : Come ye unto Him and be enlightened (Psalm xxxiii.).
I have glorified Thee on earth.
As we listen to these words, perchance we shall be moved to look back in the bitterness of our soul at days and months and years gone by during which we have not glorified our Creator, but dishonoured Him, and dishonoured Jesus Christ, our most merciful Redeemer.
B. And we may find too a strong desire growing within us to be able to say before we die : Yes, my God, I have tried to glorify Thee.
1. It is a great glory to God when in the presence of His enemies we take delight in Him, and are glad to be with Him, and do not shun prayer, but seek it with desire.
2. We glorify God when we resolutely adopt Gospel maxims in presence of the world : forgiving injuries, renouncing forbidden pleasures, preferring the heavenly luxury of almsgiving to the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
3. We glorify God when we will not suffer immodesty or covetousness even to be named among us as becometh the saints (Ephes. v.).
C. I have finished the work that Thou gavest Me to do.
Alas! O my God, do I even know what the work is that Thou gavest me to do?
This much we know at least, that our main work, the one thing necessary, is to save our souls by praising, reverencing, and serving our God. One thing that we certainly have to do is to die in God's grace.
But, besides this, to every man God also gave commandment concerning his neighbour (Ecclus. xvii.).
How much of this work have we accomplished ? Let us at least try in the eleventh hour to redeem time past by labouring diligently to help some poor sinners to return to God.
STATION IV. And now glorify Thou Me, O Father, with the glory which
I had, before the world was, with Thee (v. 5). A. “ Raise My Body to life again, and glorify My Body and My Soul, and bring about My Ascension into Heaven, that with My Sacred Humanity united to Me, I may sit at
Ι Thy right hand to possess the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.
With all our hearts let us join in this prayer: “Our Father, glorify Thy Divine Son Jesus".
B. Whether our Lord be glorified much or little on earth, and whether His saints be glorified or not by men,