Thought of the day
Monday, February 6, 2017

Monday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church Sermon 306, passim

Monday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

Commentary of the day 

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church Sermon 306, passim

"As many as touched the tassel on his cloak were healed"

Everyone wants to be happy; there is no one who doesn't - and so strongly do they do so that they want it more than anything else. Even more: whatever they want in addition, they only want for this reason. People pursue different enthusiasms, one this and another that; there are, too, many ways of earning one's living in the world: each one chooses their profession and practices it. But whether someone is occupied in one form of life or another, all act in this life to be happy. So what is it about this life able to give a happiness that all would like but none have? Let us see... 

If I were to ask anyone: “Do you want to live?”, none would be tempted to answer: “No, I don't”... In the same way, if I were to ask: “Do you want to live in good health?”, none would answer: “No, I don't.” Good health is a precious blessing in the eyes of the rich, and for the poor it is often the only blessing they have... All alike agree in loving life and health. But can someone who enjoys life and health be content with that?... 

A rich young man asked the Lord: “Good teacher, what must I do to have eternal life?” (Mk 10:17). He feared to die and was constrained to die... He knew that a life of sorrow and misery is no kind of life and one ought rather to call it by the name of death... Eternal life alone can be happy. Health and life here below give no assurance of it, you have too much fear of losing it: call it “always fearing” not “always living”... If our lives are not eternal, if they do not eternally satisfy our desires, they cannot be happy ones, they are no longer even a life... When we enter the life to come we shall be certain of remaining there for ever. We shall have the certainty of eternally possessing true life without any fear because we shall be in the Kingdom of which it is said: “And his kingdom will have no end” (Lk 1:33).