Thursday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time
"My yoke is easy"
People who complain about the roughness of the Lord’s yoke have possibly not completely rejected the heavy load of the lusts of the world or, if they did reject them, they have enslaved themselves to them again, to their greater shame. Outwardly they carry the yoke of the Lord but inwardly they submit their shoulders to the burden of the world’s cares. They set on the balance of the Lord’s yoke the hardships and difficulties which they inflict on themselves… As for the yoke of the Lord: it is “easy and its burden light”.
Indeed, what is sweeter, what more glorious than to see oneself lifted up above the world by the scorn one shows it and, seated at the summit of a conscience at peace, to have the whole world at one’s feet? Then one sees nothing to desire, nothing to fear, nothing to envy, nothing of one’s own that might be taken away, no evil that might be caused one by another. The eyes of the heart turn towards “an inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled and unfading, that is kept for us in heaven” (1Pt 1,4). With a sort of greatness of soul one gives little importance to this world’s goods: they pass away; to the pleasures of the flesh: they are contaminated; to the world’s pomp: it fades; and in one’s joy one repeats the words of the prophet: “All mankind is grass and all its glory like the flower of the field; the grass withers, the flower fades but the Word of the Lord remains for ever” (Is 40,6-8)… In charity – and nowhere but in charity – dwells true tranquillity and true sweetness for it is the yoke of the Lord.
Saint Aelred of Rielvaux (1110-1167), Cistercian monk
The Mirror of charity, I, 30-31