Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The Heart Of The Gospel. Part 12.

By Francis Patrick Donnelly


Out of the abundance of the heart.


ARTISTS and people, of artistic tastes are much concerned about the wreaths and eagles and heads that are cut upon our coins. The practical business man looks to the metal and its purchasing power. We are all minting daily a multitude of coins, and the angel treasurers of the vaults of Heaven do not spend as much time looking for our profiles and dates as they do in sounding the metal to test if it rings true and will pass currency in the kingdom of Heaven. Christ was a keen merchant in the business of the soul. Witness His parables and see that buying and selling had no mysteries for Him. So when the Pharisees would pass off their worthless money upon Him, He knew the counterfeit at once and cried: "O generation of vipers, how can you speak good things whereas you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."

There will not be gold at the lips if there is not gold in the heart, is the teaching of Christ. The rich heart makes the rich word. "Out of the abundance of the heart" means "out of the riches of the heart," and this is clear from the signification of the word in the original text, as well as from the words that follow: "A good man out of a good treasure bringeth forth good things; an evil man out of an evil treasure bringeth forth evil things." The words may be as artistic as you will; they may be colored with poetry, or warmed with eloquence, or freighted with the rarest knowledge. All that is mere mintage and tinsel, and not itself precious metal in the sight of God. It need not necessarily be base metal, either, but its purchasing value in the mart of Heaven will not be greater than would a double eagle made of golden butter, unless the treasure of the heart go with the treasures of art. Before men we may all pass for the character in the fairy story, dropping pearls and diamonds and silver and gold every time our lips part; but what of the output of the heart before the eyes of God? May not the words be paste and pewter and brass, or, at the best, lightly plated ware?

The question is a serious one. One day a collection shall be made of all our treasures and their values estimated. "But I say unto you," continues the Lord, in the same passage, "that every idle word that men shall speak they shall render an account of." There is a very dismal prospect, indeed! To think that all our idle words, our vocal tramps, the fleeting sounds
into which we have put fleeting, vain thoughts, all that foam and froth of the stream of speech, is entered against us. Alas, poor lips that babble on heedlessly, of you we may say in the words of the Lord, slightly changed, "Out of the abundance of the mouth, the heart is silent." Idle words are the product of silent hearts. No man can say with the sinners in the psalm: "Our lips are our own. Who is lord over us?" Unhappily, our lips are not our own. God made them, and they are His, and must work for Him. An idle word is one that refuses to recognize God's ownership. Let the heart admit God's mastery; let the intention be renewed occasionally of doing all for God's services, and words will cease to be idle. There is then no need here of disturbing worry. The good Christian, trying to lead a good life, is by that very fact banishing idle words. Morning and evening prayers, the Morning Offering, Mass, acts of piety and charity, all these are evidences of a rich heart, out of which come few or no idle words. The mother who loves her child, never utters an idle word in its regard, because in every word is the refined gold of love. Every Christian who loves God has a heart rich in love and is rarely idle in words.