Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Throw Yourself Into the Fray!

One of the daily Mass readings for today is from chapter 8 of Paul's letter to the Romans. Here is the text:

[18] I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. [19] For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God;[20] for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; [21] because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. [22] We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now;[23] and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. [24] For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? [25] But if we hope for what we do not see,we wait for it in patience.

The Navarre Bible Commentary's note on verse 18 (highlighted above) is an awesome quote by St. Cyprian, which I thought I would share:

18. “Who is there then”, St Cyprian comments, “who will not strive to attain so great a glory, by making himself God’s friend, to rejoice immediately with Christ, to receive the divine rewards after the pains and sufferings of this life? If it is glorious for soldiers of this world to return to their fatherland victorious after defeatingthe enemy, how much greater and more pleasing glory will there not be, once thedevil is overcome, to return victorious to heaven [...]; to bear with one the trophies of victory [...]; to sit at God’s side when he comes to judge, to be a co-heir with Christ, to be made equal to the angels and to enjoy with the Patriarchs, with the Apostles and with the Prophets the possession of the Kingdom of heaven [...]. A spirit secure in these supernatural thoughts stays strong and firm, and is unmoved by the attacks of demons and the threats of this world, a spirit strengthened by a solid and confident faith in the future [...]. It leaves here with dignityand confidence, rejoicing in one moment to close its eyes which looked on men and the world, and to see God and Christ! [...]. These are the thoughts the mind should have, this is how it ought to reflect, night and day. If persecution finds God’s soldier prepared in this manner, there will be no power capable of overcoming a spirit so equipped for the struggle” (”Epist. ad Fortunatum”, 13).

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