Never Have I Found Such Faith

Faith certainly proposes for our belief mysteries most difficult, far above our reason and understanding, and sublimely exalted even above the natural capacity of the angels themselves. But since the doctrine of faith admonishes us that these mysteries are to be believed on the authority of God, who cannot deceive, and not on that of angels, or of people, then the bounds begin to be enlarged….

What God says, who will gainsay? God cannot lie, for if he could, he would not be God. But these mysteries, which are proposed to our belief, are above our reason. They are: but they are not above the power and wisdom of God. Therefore, says Saint James, God is greater than our heart; because he can do what we cannot understand, and his essence and existence are more elevated than our mind can comprehend. If an unlearned person easily believes the many incredible things philosophers and astronomers mention concerning the magnitude of the sun and of the planets, why should not someone readily believe also whatever God has deigned to reveal, since there is an infinite distance between the wisdom and power of the one, and the small spark of reason with which the other is endowed? They therefore, who consider these remarks, will find no difficulty in believing what the Church proposes.

Saint Robert Bellarmine (1621) was a brilliant Jesuit preacher and theologian noted for his rational argumentation

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Be Opened

We should note that our Lord touched the ears and tongue of the disabled man who was to be healed, he took him and led him aside from the crowd.

The first hope of salvation for anyone is to desert those with vicious habits, and the commotion of the crowds, and so humbly bow his head to receive the gift of healing. We must not in any way suppose that salvation is possible as long as one is not afraid to cling to his disordered habits, to be delighted by pointless words, [or] to be impaired by disturbing thoughts.

But there lies in store for a person who, with God’s mercy and aid, has changed the disturbed ways of his former life, who has conceived in his heart the inspiration of divine grace, who has learned from the word of heavenly teaching to confess the true faith, to secure immediately the longed for joys of good health. Hence it is appropriate that, after our Lord separates the disabled man from the crowd, after he puts his fingers into his ears, after he touches his tongue with his spittle, there is added: And looking up toward heaven he groaned and said, ‘Effeta,”which means ‘be opened’. And at once his ears were opened and the ligament of his tongue was loosened. It was proper that as he was about to heal the disabled man, our Lord looked up toward heaven and groaned. This was to indicate from where healing was to be hoped for, and with what zeal for compunction and tears it was to be sought after and reached out for. He looked up toward heaven and groaned because he grieved that we, whom he had created to possess heavenly things, were cast far away, [entangled] in earthly matters. He looked up toward heaven and groaned to suggest to us, who had withdrawn from the joys of heaven through being gratified by earthly things, that our return to these joys must be accomplished by groaning and sighing.

Saint Bede the Venerable (735) was an English Benedictine monk, a biblical scholar, and the first English historian.

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Glad Tidings

Consider, dearly beloved, how God’s love has found a way through our obstinacy. We have no excuse now. We despise God, and he waits. He sees himself rejected, and he calls us back. He accepts the insult of our rejection, and nevertheless he promises us a gift as often as we return….

To drive slothfulness from our hearts he brings forward external losses by way of comparison. This is to arouse us to concern for ourselves

Therefore, my friends, direct the eyes of your hearts toward your mortality. Make ready for the Judge who is coming to you by your daily weeping and sorrow….

Do not pay attention then to what you have, but to what you are. Do you want to know what you are?…

Since the hours and their moments are running away, see to it, dearly beloved, that they are filled with what will earn the wages of a good work. Listen to what Solomon in his wisdom says: Do vigorously everything your hand can do, because there will be no work or plan or wisdom or knowledge in the lower world, to which you are hurrying. Since we do not know the time of our coming death, and we cannot work after death, it remains for us to seize the time granted us before death.

Saint Gregory the Great was one of the most important popes and influential writers of the Middle Ages

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