THE APOSTLE'S GRIEF
"Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is scandalised, and I am not on fire?" 2 COR. xi. 29.
[continued from yesterday]
...Then comes the revelation. It will be in some gesture, some strange accidental word, some attitude of thought expressed in an idle manner which will reveal the terrible truth to the soul that loves.
Things are not what they were; the rose has received a canker worm; the word has been uttered, the allusion has been made, the deed has been done, which has opened the understanding eyes of one to whom the poor child is dear, and henceforth it seems that there can be no rest for him again.
No; there is no greater agony in human life than to be compelled to watch a human soul deliberately turning to evil before one's very eyes, above all a soul which has already grown long in innocence. The agony has been too much for many before today; it has driven them to murder, or to suicide, or both; they would rather see their child dead but innocent at their feet, than living but beginning to corrupt; they would rather die themselves than live and endure the sight of the robbery of this treasure of their soul.
The reckless child laughs at the agony it causes; it refuses to see the harm that is done; it claims its rights; it rests upon its own strength; it turns with indignation against any word of remonstrance; it will do what it likes and no one shall interfere; it knows its own mind and needs no warning; it takes one step cautiously I at first, it takes a second more coolly, with the third it gets its stride, the fourth begins to run, and stab, stab, stab, stab, goes down into the heart that loves, and sees, and understands, and knows only too well the inevitable end of that career....
From The School of Love and Other Essays
by The Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J.
Burns, Oates, & Washburn, Ltd. 1918