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painful, but are also wholly given as ministries of health. For so sometimes we put crooked sticks into the fire; we bow, and beat, and twist them, not to break, but to make them straight and useful. So we correct the evil inclinations of our children, and the intolerable manners of our servants, by afflictions of the body, and griefs of the mind : all is well, so long as it is necessary, and so long as it is charitable. I remember, that when Augustus was to give sentence upon a son that would have killed his father, he did not, according to the severity of the laws, command him to be tied in a sack, with a cock, a serpent, and an ape, and thrown into Tyber; but only to be banished whither his father' pleased : remembering*, that although the son deserved the worst, yet fathers loved to inflict the least. And although, in nature, none ought to drink but the hungry, and the thirsty, yet, in judicatories, none ought to punish but they that neither hunger nor thirst; because they that do it against their wills, exceed not the measures of charity and necessity. But both fathers and princes, judges, and masters, have their limits and measures before they smite, and other measures to be observed when they do smite. “O Christian judge, do the office of a pious father,” said St. Austiny to Count Marcellinus. “A man should not use a man prodigally?, but be as sparing of another man's blood as of his own. *Punish the sinner, pity the man.”
But to conclude these inquiries fully. It is very considerable, that, in many cases, even when it is lawful to bring a criminal to punishment, or to go to law, and that it is just so to do,--yet, this whole dispute being a question of charity, we are to go by other measures than in the other; and when, in these cases, we do nothing but what is just, we must remember that we are Christians; and must never expect to go to heaven, unless we do also what is charitable.
Therefore inquire no more into how much is just and lawful in these cases; but what is charitable, and what is best, and what is safest; for then the cases of conscience are * Memor non de quo censeret, sed cui in consilio esset.
Imple, Christiane Judex, pii patris officium. 2 Homini non est homine prodige ntendum.
2 Duo ista nomina cum dicimus, homo et peccator, non utique frustra dicuntur';. quià peccator est, corrige; quia homo, miserere.-S. August. apud Gratian. VOL. XV.
best determined, when our reward shall also greatly be secured. For it is in these inquiries of charity in order to the holy communion, as it is in the communion itself. Not every one shall perish, that does not receive the holy communion; but yet to receive it, is of great advantage to our souls, in order to our obtaining the joys of heaven: so is every expression of charity ; - every action, which, in some cases, may be safely omitted, may, in all cases, where there is not a contradicting duty, be done with great advantages. For he that thinks to have the reward, and the heaven of a Christian, by the actions of justice, and the omissions of charity, is like him, who worships the image of the sun, while, at the same time, he turns his back upon the sun himself. This is 80 essentially reasonable, that even the heathens knew it, and urged it as a duty to be observed in all their sacrifices and solemnities. “ When you pray to God,” said one of their own prophets, " and offer a holy cloud of frankincense, come not to the gentle Deity, with ungentle hearts and hands: for God is of the same cognation or kindred with a good man ; gentle as a man', apt to pity, apt to do good; just, as we ought to be, but infinitely more than we are : and, therefore, he that is not good, cannot partake with him, who is essentially and unalterably so.”
Peter Comestor tells of an old opinion and tradition of the ancients, that, “ forty years before the day of judgment, the bow which God placed in the clouds, shall not be seen at all :”—meaning, that since the rainbow was placed there, as a sign of mercy and reconcilement,—when the sacrament of mercy and peace shall disappear, then God will come to judge the world in fire, and an intolerable tempest, in which all the uncharitable, unforgiving, persons, shall for ever be confounded.
Remember always what the holy Jesus hath done for thee: I shall represent it in the words of St. Bernardo; “ 0 blessed Jesus, we have heard strange things of thee. All the world tells us such things of thee, that must need make us
- justa ite precari
Silius Ital. 4. 795. Ruperti, vol. i. p. 327. • In Cantica.
to run after thee. They say, that thou despisest not the poor, nor refusest the returning sinner. We are told, that thou didst pardon the thief, when he confessed his sin, and confessed thee; and Mary Magdalen, when she wept ; and didst accept the Syrophænician when she prayed; and wouldst not give sentence of condemnation upon the woman taken in adultery, even because she looked sadly, and was truly ashamed: thou didst not reject him, that sat at the receipt of custom, nor the humble publican, nor the disciple that denied thee, nor them that persecuted thy disciples, no, not them that crucified thee. These are thy precious ointments, apt, with their sweetness, to allure all the world after thee, and with their virtue to heal them. After thee and thy sweet odours, O blessed Jesu, we will run.”—Happy is he that says so, and does so ;“ enkindling his charity in the blood of Christ," as St. Ignatius'sa expression is, transcribing his example into our conversation, for we can no way please him but by being like him: and in the blessings of Christ, and in the communion of his body and blood, the uncharitable and revenging man shall never have a portion.
Devotions relative to this Grace of Charity: to be used by way
of Exercise and Preparation to the Divine Mysteries, in any Time or Part of our Life; but especially before and at the Communion.
The Hymn, containing Acts of Love to God und to our
Neighbour. Come, behold the works of the Lord : what desolations he bath made in the earth.
He maketh wars to cease unto the ends of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
But unto the wicked said God, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldst take
d 'Aναζωπυρήσαντες εν αίματι Χριστού.-Ad Ephes.
in thy mouth, seeing thou hatest instruction, and caştest-my words behind thee?
Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son.
These things thou hast done, and I kept silence; but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.
Now consider this, ye, that forget God; lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.
Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation; and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness,
Blessed is he, that considereth the poor; the Lord will deliver him in the time of trouble :
The Lord will deliver him, and keep him alive, and he shall be blessed upon the earth; and thou wilt not deliver him into the will of his enemies.
The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.
But I said, Lord, be merciful to me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.
Yet the Lord will command his loving-kindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
O send out thy light and thy truth ; let them lead me, let them bring me to thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.
Then will I go unto the altar of God, my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.
The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.
Do good, O Lord, to them that are true of heart, and evermore mightily defend them. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Sion, build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
In God will I praise luis word : in the Lord will I praise his word : thy vows are upon me, O God; I will render praises unto thee,
For thou hast delivered our souls from death : wilt thou not deliver our feet from falling, that we may walk before God in the light of the living ?
I will love thee, O God, and praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it; and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before the saints.
Glory be to the Father, &c.
A Prayer for the Grace of Charity, &c. O most gentle, most merciful and gracious Saviour Jesu, thou didst take upon thee our nature, to redeem us from sin and misery: thou wert for us led as a lamb to the slaughter : and as a sheep before the shearer is dumb, so thou openedst not thy mouth; thou turnedst thy back to the smiters, and thy cheeks to the nippers ; thou wert mocked and whipped, crucified and torn, but thou didst nothing but good to thy enemies, and prayedst with loud cries for thy persecutors, and didst heal the wound of one that came to lay violent hands upon thee: O plant in my heart gentleness and patience, a meek and a long-suffering spirit, that I may never be transported with violent angers, never be disordered by peevishness, never think thoughts of revenge ; but may, with meekness, receive all injuries that shall be done to me, and patiently bear every cross accident; and, with charity, may return blessing for cursing, good for evil, kind words for foul reproaches, loving admonitions for scornful upbraidings, gentle treatments for all derisions and affronts; that living all my days with meekness and charity, keeping peace with all men, and loving my neighbour as myself, and thee more than myself, and more than all the world, I may, at last, come into the regions of peace and eternal charity, where thou livest, who lovest all men, and wouldst have none to perish, but all men to be saved through thee, O most merciful Saviour and Redeemer Jesu. Amen.
An Act of Forgiveness to be said, with all Earnestness and Sincerity, before every Communion.
. O God, my God, I have sinned grievously against thee : I am thy debtor in a vast and an eternal debt, and if thou shouldest take the forfeiture, I shall be for ever bound in eternal prisons, even till I pay the utmost farthing. But I hope in thy mercies, that thou wilt forgive me my ten thousand talents; and I also do, in thy presence, forgive every one that hath offended me : whoever hath taken my goods privately and injuriously, or hurt my person, or contrived any evil against me, whether known or unknown; whoever hath lessened my reputation, detracted from my best endeavours, ór hath slandered me, or reproached, reviled, or, in any word