Friday, 16 December 2016

The Heart Of The Gospel. Part 24.

By Francis Patrick Donnelly


The so-called nebular theory is a possible explanation of the universe; it may be true or further explanations may prove it false, but it will serve to illustrate a solidly established fact. The Incarnation witnessed the creation of another light, the light of the moral world.

God had said: "Let there be light, and light was made." In the Incarnation He may be considered to have said, "Let there be love, and the Heart of Christ was made." If the primitive nebula, which theory conjectures, contained all the energy of the universe, the Heart of Christ which was God's love made flesh, is the burning source of all light, heat and motion in the universe of souls. Into the Heart of Christ was poured the ocean of God's love and out of It has flowed every drop of grace which has exercised an effect in this world.

"Of His fulness we all have- received." Out of the reservoir of His love, which God created for us at the Incarnation and opened for us upon the cross came the universe of grace, with its planets and suns and moons and constellations, that light up and adorn the firmament of the new creation, more brilliant than the firmament which God's Omnipotence arched over our head when He said, "Let their be light," and broader, because this arch stretches its span far into a horizonless eternity. From the brief splendor of the passing thought or wish which prompts to repentance or lights the way to higher virtue, even to the undimmed and steady radiance of the holiest soul's highest sanctity, all came from the fire kindled by the Heart of Christ. Apostles and missionaries carry that light into the darkness of paganism. Doctors and teachers explore with it the innermost recesses of baffling truths. The pastors of the Church from priest to Pope have the guidance of the Light of the World when they lead their flocks along the ways which pass from night to eternal day. Christ is the light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world, and the Heart of Christ is the center and source of that tremendous and unfailing energy. The light of the world was kindled into flame by the love of His Heart.

In the narrower world of the blinded individual the Heart of Christ is the light, the healer of blindness. Christ became a victim to laws blindly interpreted. His Heart was laid open in obedience to law. That spear is the fit instrument, and fit emblem of the blind law. 'A blind law is cold, is edged with sharpness, is relentless. So was that spear. Pride may be broken; it refuses to bend. The spear of the Roman soldier will represent the pride which blinds hearts to the meaning of a law. Ah, but God's law came in obedience, in humility, in love; it came in a heart. Wherever love goes with the law, there will be no blindness to the spirit of the law. When Christ's heart was opened on the cross, all blind hearts won the power to open their closed eyes to the light and to see, just as Longinus, the centurion, saw the light and threw away his rigid spear and became a saint. The loving heart will not be blind to the purpose of the law, and the loving heart will rightly interpret the meaning of the law. Love will cure color-blindness and shortsightedness. The heart never forgets the person for whose benefit the law is, for the law is not for the pride of the ruler but for the good of the ruled. The heart does not miss the meaning of the law. The eyes of charity see all and see deep. When the heart of the Apostles had been prepared by living with Christ, by seeing Him die, by feeling His love and learning to love Him in turn, when, in a word, their hearts were made like His Heart, no longer did they misinterpret His meaning. With the instinct of love, as a mother divines the need of her child, they went to the meaning of Christ's words. Some hidden selfishness, perhaps the urgent thought of their bodily necessities, made the Apostles' hearts blind when they heard their teacher speak of the leaven of the Pharisees. There was only one kind of a yeast for them. But when love ruled supreme, they went to the heart of things. They understood and were shortsighted no more.

To cure blindness perfectly there is need of two things: of good light and of good sight. The Heart of Christ furnishes both remedies in full perfection for blindness of heart. His Heart it was, Love Incarnate, that became the Light of the World. His Heart it was that gave good eyes to the hearts of men by showing them that love must enforce the law and love must interpret the law. By dying under the spear point of tyranny and ignorance, the Heart of Christ won the grace for all to see, and It became the medium for all to see, became the crystal lenses of love rectifying the imperfect visions of men.