Monday, June 13, 2005

From Faith and Prejudice and Other Unpublished Sermons
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

All of us who live in this mortal life, have our troubles. You have your troubles, but when you are in trouble, and the waves seem to mount high, and to be soon to overwhelm you, make an act of faith, an act of hope, in your God and Saviour. He calls you to Him who has His mouth and His hands full of blessings for you. He says: "Come unto Me, all that labour and are laden, and I will refresh you" (Matt. 11). "All ye that thirst," He cries out by His prophet, "come ye to the waters, and ye that have no money, haste ye, buy, and eat." Never let the thought come into your mind that God is a hard master, a severe master. It is true the day will come when He will come as a just Judge, but now is the time of mercy. Improve it and make the most of the time of grace. "Behold now is the acceptable time, behold now is the day of salvation." This is the day of hope, this is the day of work, this is the day of activity. "The night cometh when no man can work," but we are children of the light and of the day, and therefore despondency, coldness of heart, fear, sluggishness are sins in us. Temptations indeed come on you to murmur, but resist them, drive them aside, pray God to help you with His mighty grace. He allows no temptation to befall us which He does not give us grace to surmount. Do not let your hope give way, but "lift up the languid hands and the relaxed knees" (Heb. 12). "Lose not your confidence, which hath a great reward" (Heb. 10). Seek His face who ever dwells in real and bodily presence in His Church. Do at least as much as what the disciples did. They had but little faith, they feared, they had not any great confidence and peace, but at least they did not keep away from Christ. They did not sit still sullenly, but they came to Him. Alas, our very best state is not higher than the Apostles' worst state. Our Lord blamed them as having little faith, because they cried out to Him. I wish we Christians of this day did as much as this. I wish we went as far as to cry out to Him in alarm. I wish we had only as much faith and hope as that which Christ thought so little in His first disciples. At least imitate the apostles in their weakness, if you can't imitate them in their strength. If you can't act as saints, at least act as Christians. Do not keep from Him, but, when you are in trouble, come to Him day by day asking Him earnestly and perseveringly for those favours which He alone can give.


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