Choose a topic from Part 3a:

40. Our Lord's Life

1. Our Lord came to teach men essential truth (John18:37). Hence, his life was not passed in solitude. In his publicministry, he associated with all sorts and conditions of men. Hecame to save sinners, and he sought them out. He came that throughhim men might have access to God, and therefore he made himselfaccessible to men.

2. Our Lord did not discourage the many with whom he dealtby an austerity of manner, or by exacting extremely hard penancesof them. He did not make himself an oddity. He truly became"all things to all men" (I Cor. 9:22), that he might winall; that is, he was moderate, and wholly virtuous, andrecollected, but he was not cold or rigidly aloof. Nor were hisgreat penances performed in the public eye: he fasted forty daysalone in the desert; his long nights of continuous prayer werespent upon a solitary mountain. Hence, there was nothing in thepresence of our Lord to frighten poor sinners, or make them thinkhe would demand too much of them, or repel them with overpoweringdignity of manner.

3. Our Lord is God and master of all; he might, had he sochosen, have had all that people call "advantages of wealthand position." But he came to teach us by his life as well asby his words. Now, the life of a wealthy man, or a man of social orcivic power, is a life of many cares. He who is to preach God'sword has not time for suchthings. Christ impressed upon hisdisciples the need of their being free from material concerns asthey went about their apostolic work (Matt. 10:9). If the discipleshad been wealthy men, as St. Jerome remarks, people would havesuspected them of seeking to promote some profitable scheme insteadof seeking to save men's souls. Our Lord, by his voluntarypoverty, merited spiritual wealth for mankind; he proved to all theworld that his Godhead prevails in the spreading of his Church, nothis worldly possessions or the power of money.

4. Christ conformed his conduct to the ceremonial and judicialprecepts of the Old Law. Thus he showed his approval of this Law,which came from God. He obeyed it to fulfill it in every sense;that is, to meet its requirements, and to bring it to an honorableend, after which its requirements would no longer bind theconsciences of men. The prophetic and figurative meanings of theOld Law emerged into factual reality in Christ. He therefore didnot break violently with the Old Law, but completed it. He saidthat he came, not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it (Matt.5:17).

"There is nothing which gives greater security to our actions, or more effectually cuts the snares the devil lays for us, than to follow another person’s will, rather than our own, in doing good."
St Philip Neri

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"Men should often renew their good resolutions, and not lose heart because they are tempted against them."
St Philip Neri

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"Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise. "
Thomas á Kempis

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