Friday, May 07, 2010

The School of Love & Other Essays, May 7


[continued from yesterday]

...Again, there is a kind of good work which, one has reason to fear, is very much neglected in these days. It is true one sometimes does find ladies visiting hospitals, refuges, and even prisons; one sometimes finds there Salvation Army officers; but how seldom does one find our own men!

And yet why should it not be possible for them to do good work there as well as for anyone else?

A man can smooth a pillow, a man can light a cigarette, a man can wash a hand or a face, a man can write a letter, a man can lift a patient, a man can bring a cheering book or paper - and a man can encourage a back-slider to lift up his face to God, and determine to reform his life and begin again.

And to the man who will attempt it I can promise one thing; he will find it engrossingly interesting. He will find a new meaning in life. He will unperstand life as he has never understood it before, that is, from many points of view besides his own.

These, then, are some of the ways by which we can make the lay apostolate a real thing; there are many more, which a soul that is keen will not fail to discover.

Only let us set to work and something will be done. Let us work together and then, as our Lord has promised:
"Where there are two or three gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them."
If we want further encouragement, let us remember the words of St. James: "He who causeth a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, shall save his own soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins."

And those other words of Our Lord Himself:
"Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in; naked, and you covered me; sick, and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me."
"Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.
From The School of Love and Other Essays
by The Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J.
Burns, Oates, & Washburn, Ltd. 1918

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