The Third Sunday In Lent The Gospel Luc. 11. v.14 Tuesday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
GOSPEL St. Luke, 11. 14-28
AT THAT TIME Jesus was casting out a devil, and the same was dumb. And when He had cast out the devil, the dumb spoke, and the multitudes were in admiration at it. But some of them said: He casteth out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils. And others, tempting, asked of Him a sign from heaven. But He, seeing their thoughts, said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself shall be brought to desolation, and house upon house shall fall. And if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because you say that through Beelzebub I cast out devils. Now if I cast out devils by Beelzebub, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore, they shall be your judges. But if I by the finger of God cast out devils, doubtless the kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his court, those things are in peace which he possesseth. But if a stronger one than he is come upon him and overcome him, he will take away all his armor wherein he trusted, and will distribute his spoils. He that is not with Me is against Me: and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through places without water, seeking rest: and not finding, he saith: I will return into my house whence I came out. And when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then he goeth and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and entering in they dwell there. And the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. And it came to pass, as He spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to Him: Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the paps that gave Thee suck. But he said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.
As the devil maketh sinners blind, so he maketh them also dumb, dumb I say in confession of their sins.
You shall find some women, so full of words, such amiable and ready tongues, that they will be ready to give you an answer almost, before you have asked the question.
When they come to confess their sins, though they be as clear as the light they can find nothing to confess.
If the ghostly father ask them they can say, yea, or no and no more you would think they had lost their tongue.
If a courtier come to confession, one that can complement with any man, and give him his due according to his degree; one that speaketh an excellent phrase, one that you would wonder at his wit and eloquent discourses: Let him come to confession, you would think him a fool, that knoweth not how to speak, though he hath never so much to say.
This is the devil that maketh them mute.
Christ therefore cometh unto us by his grace to dissolve and destroy the works of the devil and to make us speak aright by dissolving the bond of our tongue, as he did to this dumb man.
But we are afraid if we did confess, we should be hanged, or put to some kind of death or punishment, as they do at the common or civil law.
Sacramental Confession is not the death of a sinner, as he is a man, but as he is a sinner, being the death of his sins: and maketh him a new man unto God.
Turn the wicked, saith the scripture, and he shall not be; that is to say, turn and convert him from his sins, and he is, as if he were not the same man, but a new man unto God.
Neither doth sacramental confession so much as once touch him in hi credit or reputation, (as other kinds of detection of his sins doth) but is a greater honor unto him for though to commit sin, is a shame and discredit with good folks: yet to confess our sins in Sacrament confession, is an honor.
To sin, is impiety or frailty at least; to confess our sins, in the Sacrament of Penance, is fortitude and piety.
To sin is of the devil. to confess is of God, who instituted the Sacrament of Penance, as a necessary means of our salvation; and if we will needs take confession as a natural shame, though it be done privately and under the seal of the greatest secret in the world, as sacramental confession is: yet is it such a shame or confusion, as Salomon distinguished to be a shame or confusion that bringeth glory and grace.
In the old law it was commanded that if a woman were adulterated in a city and she did not cry out, she should be put to death, as well as the man but if it were in the country, the man should die and not she.
Because in the city she might easily be heard, and preserved: Oh how worthily are they of damnation that will not cry out in confession when the devil destroying their souls with sin, especially at their death since they might be saved for crying out in the Sacrament of Confession, which is so easy to be had, in the city of Gods Church.