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and satisfaction in the performance of this labor, that when, being faint and weary with his long journey, he rested himself on Jacob's well, and entreated water of the Samaritan woman, the success of his conversation with her filled his mind with such delight as seemed to have redounded to his very body, refreshing his spirits, and making him forget the thirst whereof he complained before, and refuse the meat which he had sent his disciples to buy. Nor was he less patient and submissive in suffering the will of God, than diligent in doing it.
In his last conflict he prayed to God, that if it were possible, that cup might be removed ; yet he gently adds, nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done. Mark his resignation, when he acknowledged the anguish of his spirit. Now is my soul troubled ; and what shall I
Father save me from this hour ; and no sooner had he uttered these words, but as thought he recalled them. But for this cause came I into the world ; and concludes, Father, glorify thy name.
Blessed Saviour, teach us a like resignation to do our Father's will.
" Thou compassest my path.”
The order and beauty of creation is like a veil that hides our Creator from our weak vision. The light that should enlighten, blinds us. Too high and too pure to be perceived by their gross senses, the earthly minded cannot comprehend thee, O God. Frightful darkness that envelopes the children of men ! when they can see only shadows, and even truth appears only a phantom! when what is nothing seems all to them, and what is everything is as nothing to them. What do I see in all nature ? God! God in everything, and God alone ! Who does not see thee, has seen nothing. He is as if he were not, his whole life is a dream.
Sorrow to the soul that has not seen thee; that is far from God, without hope, without consolation! But blessed already are they who seek thee, who thirst for thee! Unspeakable the felicity of those who rejoice
in thy immediate presence, from whose eyes thou hast wiped away every tear, and whose hearts are filled with thy love and presence.
16 there cannot be
And communes with eternity;
“Behold, ye count them worthy which endure."
Are we willing to suffer for God? Does our desire to be with him destroy our fear of death? Do we love to think of God ? Do we give ourselves up to him? It is by asking ourselves these questions, that we shall ascertain the true state of our souls.
Are we willing to suffer for God? I do not mean of a willingness that consists only of talking eloquently of the uses of trials, and that shrinks from the slightest personal inconveniences, and indulges in all the seductive pleasures of a sensual life. There is a certain fanciful spirituality, that is ever meditating upon resignation, patience, and the joy of tribulation, while the whole life discovers a jealous self-love, unwilling to suffer anything. True piety is not satisfied in offering to you a sterile faith; it would add the sacrifice of an humble heart, glad to suffer for him.
In vain will you attempt to follow Jesus, if you
do not bear his cross. Dare you, can you complain, when you have his example to support you ? Will not the faithful soul rejoice to suffer in imitation of Jesus, and to show his love for him, with the hope of meriting the blessing promised to those who weep? If I were seriously persuaded that the life of a Christian is a life of patience and self-denial, if in sincerity and truth I loved Jesus Christ, who suffered and humbled himself for me, should I be contented in talking of trials, when I am called upon to bear them, with giving lessons to my neighbor and not applying them to myself ? Should I be so impatient with the infirmities of others, so discouraged by obstacles, so disquieted by little troubles, so sensitive about human friendship, so jealous and intractable toward those whom I ought to conciliate, so severe toward the faults of others, so lenient and so backward in mending my own ? Should I be so ready to murmur at the trials by which God would prove
my virtue ?