The Third Sunday In Lent The Gospel Luc. 11. v.14 Thursday 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.
ThursdayAs sin doth make us blind and dumb so it maketh us deaf, that we cannot endure to hear the doctrine of salvation preached unto us, or if we hear it because our faith and hope is ( as Saint Paul affirmeth of things that are future and invisible, and such as we cannot feel, for the present: we are carried away with things present , the pleasure whereof we now feel.
When Jacob came to his Father Isaac to steal away his brother Esau his blessing: his hands and neck were covered with kinds skins, that being of himself with out hair he might feel hairy, like is brother Esau, his Father being blind asked him who he was, he answered he was his son Esau, he bid him came to him that he might feel him and feeling him he said: Thy voice is the voice of Jacob, but thy hands are the hands of Esau, and trusting more to his feeling then his hearing, was deceived blessing Jacob instead of the elder.
So we, though we hear the voice of God never so plainly by his preachers, though they announce unto us the sweat promises of Christ, of heaven and heavenly delights, and denounce his fearful threatenings of hell and the torments thereof: yet because thy are future, and not to be felt in this life; we fall to delight ourselves with things present, that we feel, anthem we follow, with a great appetite and delight: suffering our body through the sensuality thereof being the younger brother, tp deceive, and defeat our souls, being the elder brother, of his heavenly benediction.
But if we consider well, reason telleth us, that the sure hope of a great matter is better then the possession of a small matter, and so much the better, by how much the greater it is: how much better then is the hop of heaven and heavenly joys, then the present possession and fruition of any thing of this world, or all the world together: But that the devil maketh us deaf to hear the one, and very sensible to feel the other.
The Prophet David being a king, and having all the delights of the world, yet out of this argument said of worldly delights in comparison of heavenly: My soul refuseth to comfort in them, I applied my mind to God, and I was delighted.
The very hops of heavily delights, they being infinitely better then worldly, if the palate of our souls be not out of taste, tasteth sweeter unto our souls then the fruition of worldly delights, to our body, be they never so great, or pleasant?
Let us therefore say with the Prophet David: I will hear what our Lord speaketh within me, because he will speak peace unto his people and to his holy ones,and them that are converted at the heart, giving them a great deal more content in the very hop pf heavenly things then in the possession of earthly.
What man in the world can have all the contentment in worldly delights that he can desire: about heavenly things the Prophet David sayeth: delight in our Lord and he will give thee all thy desires, In hope and expectation of which heavenly joys and delights, the same Prophet saith, in another place I will sing unto our Lord in my life, that is to say: all my life long, I will sing unto my God, as long as I have any being.
Let my speech be pleasing unto him for I will delight in our Lord to wit in the hope of future felicity in heaven, more then in all the present delights of the world.