Today’s ✠Challoner Meditation: September 3rd

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✠Challoner Meditation: 3rd September "On meekness"



Consider first, that after poverty of spirit, in the next place meekness is recommended to us, as the true road to everlasting happiness: ‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land.’ These two virtues of poverty of spirit and meekness are nearly allied to each other, they go hand-in-hand. Our Lord joins them both together, and expects we should learn them both from him, Matt. xi., when he calls upon us all ‘to take his yoke upon us, and to learn of him, because he is meek and humble of heart.’ But what will he give us, do you think, if we learn to imitate his meekness? O! he assures us, that we shall find in the exercise of this virtue refreshment, rest, and peace for our souls here, and shall inherit the land of the living hereafter. Happy portion of meek souls, even the possession of the Lord of life himself, in the land of the living! Christians, who would not embrace this lovely virtue, which brings with it a calm serenity and tranquillity of soul even during our pilgrimage through the region of the dying, and secures to us, in our true country, the eternal repose and life of the saints?

Consider 2ndly, what this meekness is which is entitled to this beatitude. Meekness is a virtue which restrains all anger and passion; which suppresses the swellings of the heart, under real or imaginary provocations or injuries; which stills and tumults of the soul on all these occasions; keeps in all heat or violence of words; and allows no thoughts to the soul of any other than that truly Christian revenge of overcoming evil with good. Such was the practice of the Lamb of God, both in life and death; of whom it was written, Isaia xlii. and Matt. xii., ‘He shall not contend nor cry out, neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets: the bruised reed he shall not break, and smoking flax he shall not extinguish,’ &c. ‘He shall not be sad nor troublesome.’ and 1 Pet. ii. 23, ‘When he was reviled, he did not revile; when he suffered, he threatened not; but delivered himself to him that judged him unjustly.’ Now ’tis this meekness, this sweet, mild, gentle behaviour, this evenness of soul, joined with courtesy in words, and affability to the little and to the poor, as much as to the great and to the rich, when joined with true humility of heart, makes up the proper and distinctive livery of the true servants and followers of Jesus Christ; which if we do not all endeavour to put on, he will not own us for his. It was this made up the amiable character of the primitive Christians. The sweet odour of these truly Christian virtues attracted thousands in those days to the faith of Jesus Christ; and will be found at all times more effectual, in order to the conversion of souls, that the strongest arguments or even miracles, if not recommended by meekness and humility. O let us embrace these lovely virtues! ‘My son,’ (says the spirit of God,) ‘do thy works in meekness, and thou shalt be beloved above the glory of men,’ Ecclus. iii. 19.

Consider 3rdly, what we must do that we may effectually learn to be meek, and may obtain a complete victory over anger and passion, and all that train of evils, which are the usual attendants, or consequences, of anger and passion. First, We must watch. 2ndly, We must pray. 3rdly, We must fight. We must watch over our own hearts, that we may not be surprised by the sudden motions of anger, and hurried away before we are aware; we must forecast the occasions, in which we may meet with temptations or provocations, that we may be prepared for them and armed against them. We must upon all occasions pray, with all the fervour of our souls, for the divine assistance against so dangerous an evil as passion, as being a capital enemy of charity, the queen of virtues; we must often lament our misery in this kind, at the feet of the Lamb of God, and sue for redress, by the intercession of the blessed virgin, and of all the saints; we must for this purpose frequent the sacraments, the sources of heavenly grace. We must fight, by diligently suppressing the first motions of wrath: we must be convinced that no man upon earth, nor all the men upon earth, no nor all the devils in hell, with all their malice, can do us half so much harm as we do ourselves by venting our passions, and seeking revenge; and therefore we must resolve to fight till death, with the best arms we are able, against this wicked passion, as an enemy which is continually seeking to betray our souls to Satan.

Conclude to spare no pains that thou mayest effectually learn of Jesus Christ to be meek and humble of heart. There is no other way to peace here, nor to heaven hereafter.

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