Thought of the day
Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thursday of the Twenty-third week in Ordinary Time
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"A good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing"

John Tauler (c.1300-1361), Dominican 
Sermon 39, for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity (trans. Eric Colledge)
"A good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing"

Here our Lord speaks of four different measures which will be given to men: a good measure, a measure heaped up, a measure pressed down, a measure overflowing… Now the first thing to understand about the good measure is that we must turn our will to God and live according to his commandments and the laws of Holy Church, in the practice of the sacraments and holding to the faith, repenting of our sins… fearing God and loving him in our neighbors. This is what it is to be a Christian and to lead a life that is Christian in truth… Yet this is the lowest grade of all…  When a man makes a beginning in the spiritual life, he plans to perform all kinds of good outward exercises: prayers, prostrations, fasting and many such pious practices. But then presently he is given the measure heaped up, that is, exercises of interior devotion, when with all his power he seeks God in his soul, for that is God’s Kingdom (Lk 17,21). My children, there is as much difference between this and the first way of life as there is between running and sitting still… 

Next comes the measure pressed down, which is an outpouring of love which draws to itself everything else: all good works, all your life, all sufferings, everything which you have in your vessel, and everything good done by everyone, good and evil...; all is in charity…  Love absorbs all the good there is in heaven, in all the saints and all the angels and all the sufferings of the martyrs; love draws to itself all the good which all creatures possess in heaven and on earth. So much of this good is lost, or seems to be lost, but love does not let it perish…

Then there comes the overflowing measure, the measure which is so full and abundant and generous that it overflows on every side. Our Lord has touched this measure with his finger and so everything stored up and kept inside it has flowed over... Everything has overflowed and is lost in God and is one with Him. In such souls God finds his own perfect love, and whatever they do is done by Him in them… This is how the overflowing measure of such perfected souls flows all through Holy Church.

Source: © 2001-2014
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