Posted by: fvbcdm | June 26, 2014

Feast of Saint Josemaria Escriva (26 June 2014)

In Saint Matthew’s gospel, Our Divine Lord pays us a great compliment.  He tells those of us who attempt to put his gospel into operation in our lives that we are “the salt of the earth and the light of the world.”

How apt his comparisons are! I can testify to the importance and the delectability of salt. A couple of years ago, I had heart surgery, and my doctor told me to avoid salt as much as possible. So I do, but have you ever eaten grits with NO SALT? It’s awful; it would be better not to have grits at all. And when it comes to “the light of the world,” Our Lord is, of course, referring to the sun. He is telling us that if we are true and authentic Christians, we are to the world of humanity what the sun is to our physical solar system. There is a great deal of beauty in our world. You can buy fine calendars with magnificent scenes of places like the Grand Canyon or Yosemite National Park, or some of the beaches in Hawaii or a splendid forest in the northwest. But can you imagine what those same calendars would look like if they showed only those same scenes at midnight when there is no moonlight? For us to perceive physical beauty, we must have light. I am told that in those parts of the world near the polar regions, where darkness lasts half the year, some people become deeply depressed.  I know that among the Norwegians, drunkenness is very common during the long, dark nights of winter when the sun rarely shines at all.

Let us allow these words of Jesus to be for us a means of examining our conscience.  Do I really try to be friendly, kind, pleasant, upbeat, optimistic, supportive, encouraging, helpful?  If so, then I add spice to the lives of those who must bear heavy crosses.  And I brighten with my faith, my trust in God, my joy of living the lives of those who are pathologically or chronically depressed or pessimistic or sad. This is what is meant by having a “sunny disposition.”  Our Lord approves of that. Saint Teresa of Avila is famous for her little prayer:  “Lord, deliver me from sour-faced saints!”

Years ago there lived here in New Orleans a prominent physician who had a notoriously unpleasant personality. His wife’s name was—well, I’ll call her Christine.  Whenever anyone talked about her, they always called her, “Poor Christine.”  She had to live for years with that husband of hers who had a disposition like a bear with a sore paw. Whatever he was, he was NOT the salt of the earth and the light of the world that Jesus asks us to be.  Let’s try to do better than that, so that others won’t pity our spouses or anyone else who must have close and frequent contact with us.  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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