"Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is scandalised, and I am not on fire?" 2 Cor. xi. 29.
[continued from yesterday]
...But sometimes there comes an awakening, and then how the tables are turned! The soul that did the harm is embittered for the rest of its life, whether with gnawing remorse, or whether with soothing contrition; it sees what it has done, to itself and to others, it sees what others have done to it and for it, and what they are ever willing to do; and the discovery is terrible indeed. If before there were tears, hard, bitter tears of self-will, now there are tears, many more, from the heart and not only from the eyes.
But they are tears that make others thank God. "Peter, going out, wept bitterly;" but Christ Our Lord rejoiced at the tears that were shed. And so it is often with us. The time may be long, the way may be stony, the agony may drag along, but if we will leave the ninety-nine alone, and go after the strayed one till we find it, please God it will be there at last.
And when it is found to be there it is also found to have been worth while - worth all the suffering, the sleeplessness and long dragging days, though not worth the bitterness of the poor thing that insisted on having its way.
"And when he hath found it, doth he not lay it upon his shoulders, rejoicing? And coming home calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying to them: Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost? I say to you that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance."___________
From The School of Love and Other Essays
by The Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J.
Burns, Oates, & Washburn, Ltd. 1918