Posted by: fvbcdm | February 10, 2014

Feast of Saint Scholastica (10 February 2014)

There is an old adage in the philosophy of Aristotle which was accepted by Saint Thomas Aquinas as being very true. It says: whatever is received is received according to the mode of the recipient. Now, what does that mean? It means that you can pour one pint or less of liquid into a pint bottle, but no more. If you want to carry a quart of milk or wine or oil, you must find a quart bottle. It means that you can’t pour orange juice into a wicker basket and expect it to stay there. It means that you can’t teach your cocker spaniel to read and write, although you can teach him some tricks and how to go get the newspaper on the front lawn.

Whatever is received – whether wine in a bottle or eggs in a basket or the ability to learn certain things on the part of a cat or a dog – can only be received according to the nature of the recipient.  Our Divine Lord makes that same important point in one of his parables. The sower goes out to sow seed. He stands in his field and simply throws handfuls of the seed all around him. Methods of agriculture were much less sophisticated then than they are now. And Jesus tells us that the seed falls on four different kinds of terrain. Some on a footpath which has been beaten down hard by all the passersby; some on rocky ground with just a thin veneer of soil into which the seed cannot sink roots; some among weeds and brambles that choke the young sprouts, and then some on good soil where it bears abundant harvest.

Now, think of your own mind and heart. They are like a field. Jesus comes, the divine sower, to scatter the seed of his grace, his inspiration, his word in your mind and heart. But what kind of terrain is to be found in the field of your mind and heart? Totally unreceptive footpaths? Rocky ground with just a bit of soil on top? A tangle of weeds and brambles? Or good, rich soil where the seed can flourish?  How do you receive the grace of Christ?  His inspirations? His word?

Several of the psalms speak of how “my soul is thirsting for the living God.” When you’re thirsty, you crave water, you receive it joyfully, gratefully; profitably. When we are thirsty for God, we can’t get enough of him; we crave more, we want greater and deeper union with him. Then, when he gives himself to us at Mass and Communion, for example, or in spiritual reading, or in the thoughts that occur to us in our prayer, we seize these things and make them part of our spiritual lives. In one of the beatitudes, Jesus says to us:  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for holiness for they will have their fill. Let’s try always to be that kind of person.  Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This message was composed some years ago.


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