Today’s ✠Challoner Meditation

Fast forward past the Angelus to hear today’s ✠Challoner Meditation recording

July 21st On the opening of the books

Consider first, that we read in the word of God of the opening of the books, when God shall sit down to judge, Daniel vii., ‘I beheld,’ saith the prophet, ‘till thrones were placed, and the ancient of days sat down. – Thousands of thousands ministered to him, and ten thousand times a hundred thousand stood before him: the judgment-seat and THE BOOKS WERE OPENED.’ And Rev. xx. 11, 12, ‘I saw a great white throne,’ saith St. John, ‘and one sitting upon it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away, and there was no place found for them. And I saw the dead great and small, standing before the throne, and THE BOOKS WERE OPENED; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged by those things which were written in the books, according to their works.’ Christians, attend to these awful truths; and think well on these books, by the contents of which you are to be judged. The study of these will be of infinitely more importance to you than the knowledge of all the books of the belles lettres and human science, which must all perish in the last fire.

Consider 2ndly, what these books are which shall be produced and set open at the day of judgment. In the first place, there shall be the books of our consciences, with all the divine records in which our thoughts, words, and action are punctually registered. In the second place, the books of the gospel of the rules of life prescribed by Jesus Christ, and of the commandments of God. And lastly, the book of life; even that book in the first line of which it is written of Jesus Christ, (Ps. xxxix.,) that he should come ‘to do his father’s will;’ and in which the names of all stand recorded under the name of Jesus Christ, who with him, and through him, have made it the main business of their lives to do the will of him and of his father, and who have embraced the law of his love in the very midst of their hearts. Christians, examine yourselves now by these books, judge yourselves now by these books, and all shall be well with you then. See how your accounts now stand in your own consciences; but oh! beware of the delusions of self-love. Reflect how all your thoughts, words, and actions, in the moment they go from you, are presently enrolled in the divine book. Ah! in what condition are yours to appear there? Will your life be able to stand the trial of the book of the gospel? Or will not rather your faith rise up in judgment against you, and condemn you for having renounced in practice what you professed to believe? Has your name any place in the book of life, where none are entered but such as do the will of God?

Consider 3rdly, how upon the opening of these books, the sins of the reprobate shall not only all appear in their most odious shapes to their own eyes, but also be exposed to the public view of that whole immense assembly of all heaven and earth: visible and evident to the eyes of all, both angels and men, good and bad. Ah! poor sinner, where wilt thou then hide thy head? What shame, what anguish shall oppress thee, when all thy filth and abominations, all thy works of darkness which thou hast committed in the greatest security, and which thou wouldst not have had known to thy friends and acquaintances for all the world; and perhaps couldst not find in thy heart to disclose even to one person bound by all laws to an eternal secrecy, shall now be displayed before thy face, with all their aggravating circumstances, in this great consistory of the whole universe?

Conclude to prevent by a hearty repentance and a sincere confession of thy guilt now, whilst thou hast time, the dreadful confusion which otherwise thou wilt suffer at that day; and the great judge will then ratify the absolution that has been given thee here, by virtue of his commission, and clear thee from all thy sins.

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