The Sunday Within The Octave Of The Ascension GOSPEL St. John 15:26-27 & 16:1-4 The Tuesday Meditation: A Plaine Path-Way To Heaven By Fr.Thomas Hill 1634
St. John 15:26-27 and 16:1-4
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: When the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceed eth from the Father, He shall give testimony of Me: and you shall give testimony, because you are with Me from the beginning. These things have I spoken to you, that you may not be scandalized. They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doth a service to God. And these things will they do to you, because they have not known the Father, nor Me. But these things I have told you, that, when the hour shall come, you may remember that I told you of them.
Christ sent the holy Ghost upon his disciples at Pentecost, not only togive testimony of him to themselves, that he was God, but that they seeing those things they did at Pentecost, and not only seeing them but being also enduded, & replenished with such admirable gifts and graces of the holy Ghost, themselves might give testimony of him to others. As if Christ should say thus unto them: And you also shall give testimony of me unto others, because you are they that have been with me from the beginning, and your sound hath gone forth into all the World, and your voice into the further most bounds of the earth. Christ hath ever had many in the world that have been with him, from the beginning of their lives unto the end.
These are especially Religious persons who have dedicated & vowed themselves unto the Service of God all their life long, and are so with him that they attend to no other thing spending all their time in prayer and praising of God, and in continual meditation of heaven and heavenly things. They distribute the day and night into certain Canonical Hours, as they call them,which are seven or eight, of which the Prophet David seemed to prophecy,when he said: Seven times a day have I said praising untothee. Psal.118.v.164. These hours they observe as well by night,as by day,to wit at midnight, their Matins; at three in the morning their Laudes; at six their Prime or first hour; at nine their Third; at twelve their Sixt; at three in the afternoon their Ninth; at six their Evensong; at nine their Compline, there being three natural hours distance between every Canonical hour, and this they do continually day by day all their life, publicly in the Church, and is indeed all their life & delight,together with other holy exercises between while,by means whereof they conserve continually with God. many of them from the beginning of their lives, after they come to convenient years.
These are are the men also, that Christ hath appointed to give testimony to the world, of God, and of the hidden comfort and consolation that is to be found in the Service of God, more then in the vain pleasures and delights of the world. These I call hidden comfort and consolation, because as St. Bernard sayeth many do see their outward crosses but not their inward comforts, hidden because none can know them but those that taste them, neither can any taste them unless they deprive themselves of the vain comforts and delights of the world.
These spiritual comforts and consolations are so great, that the Prophet David speaking unto God in the person of contemplative men, compareth them to a feast in these words: The cogitation of men shall confess to thee, & the fragments, or remainders of his cogitation shall make a feast unto thee: and that he speaketh of religious persons principally, that have dedicated themselves unto it by vow, it appeareth, in that immediately after those words, he addeth these: Vow yee and render your vows unto our Lord, all you that be in the circuit of him, offer your gifts; as if he should say: For as much as there is such hidden comfort and consolation in serving God in a Religious estate, come to those places where God is as it were compassed in round about in their quire & cloister, singing praises unto him, day and night; come I say thither,and make your vows,and offer your gifts unto God.
In regard whereof, to wit that this state of life,is a continual Feast to God, the Church hath altered the names of the days of the week even in the primitive Church, calling every day a Feria, which signifieth a festival day, because they do feast every day, unto God by singing their Canonical hours, aforesaid. And thus do these kind of persons, feast with Christ in hidden comforts and consolations of the holy Ghost, whereby they give sufficient testimony of Christ, that he is the God of all true comfort and consolation.