“Rise, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ will enlighten thee.” (Ephes. v. 14.)
I. When Christ raised His body from the dead, He decorated it with all the attributes of glory. Lacerated and deformed before, it now becomes beautiful and lovely. Reflect on the difference which exists between a body that is dead, pale, wan, and motionless, and the same body when it is invested with the attributes of glory. The same difference exists between a soul in sin, and in the state of grace. The same difference, with due proportion, is to be found between a fervent and a tepid soul. In the state of tepidity the soul slumbers, as it were; it is void of all heroical motion; it is insensible in regard to spiritual things; it is filled with idle fancies and vain trifles; and pursue shadows instead of real and substantial good. It conceives itself to be in a good state, whilst in reality it may be addressed as God addressed the Bishop of Laodicea in the Apocalypse of St. John, “Thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” (Apoc. iii. 17.)
II. Our Saviour is ready to raise us from the state of tepidity and sin, if we consent on our part, and therefore He says of Himself, “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John xi. 25.) He is the cause and author of both, as well in regard to the soul as the body. What a benefit it is to be raised from the death of sin or tepidity, and to be placed in the bright light of the children of God, and to be enabled to pursue the road of virtue with fervor. This benefit Christ will bestow upon you to-day in the Eucharist if you approach Him with fervor. Hence He is called the bread of life; and if we shall owe to Him the resurrection of our bodies “at the last day” (John vr. 40), so are we now indebted to Him for the resurrection of our souls. (Jno. vi. 35, 40.)
III. The marks by which we may discover if we have really risen with Christ are our attention to spiritual things, and our disregard of the things of this world. “If ye be risen with Christ,” says St. Paul, “seek the things that are above.” (Colos. iii. 1.) Seek, therefore, only heavenly things, and as ” Christ rising again from the dead, dieth now no more” (Rom. vi. 9), so you, having risen from the state of sin or tepidity to grace and fervor, persevere in your “newness of life,” and continually guard against relapsing into your former state.
Source: “Meditations for Every Day in the Year” by Rev. Roger Baxter.
This precious book was originally written in 1639, and was used by Chailoner, Walmsly, and other Confessors of the Faith in times of persecution. ✟ JAMES GIBBONS, Archbishop of Baltimore. 1884.
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