Fourth Sunday After The Epiphany GOSPEL Mt.8.23 The Tuesday Meditation

GOSPEL (Matt. 8:23-27) 
At that time, Jesus entered into the boat, and his disciples followed him: And behold a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves, but he was asleep. And they came to him, and awaked him, saying: "Lord, save us, we perish." And Jesus saith to them: "Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith?" Then rising up, he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm. But the men wondered, saying: "What manner of man is this, for the winds and the sea obey him?"


Concerning the sleeping of Christ, that is to say, how he seemeth oftentimes to sleep deferring our petition as if he were asleep, and did not hear us: that we might pray the more earnestly, and continue the longer; and of the manner of prayer; I will declare by a familiar example of a mother, and her little tender infant. 

The mother knowing her child to be hungry, and would fain have somewhat to eat feigned herself to be asleep, to see what means the child would make for it: The child commeth unto her, and thinking she is asleep, goeth about to awake her, he taketh her by the hand, and finding her not to stir her hand; if her face be covered with anything he pullet it away, and looketh on her face; she feigned herself still to be asleep, but her heart rejoiceth with in her breast, to see the sundry pretty inventions of the child to awake her.

The child seeing her not to stir nor to smile upon him, with her mouth, as if she was wont to do, nor to behold him with her cheerful eyes: but to lye as if she were dead (though he know not, what it is to be dead, nor asleep, nor to counterfeit to be asleep,) but only looking she should show herself to him as she was wont to do: falleth a crying as fast as he can; the mother lyeth still as before, having yet a greater desire to give him food, then the child to have it, but taketh pleasure to hear the child cry; The child seeing her which all this not to stir, her which all this not tp stir, he taketh on, and vexeth himself more, and more; being all the remedy he hath; which when the mother seeth, she is not able any longer to dissemble, she rises, and taketh him up in her arms, kisseth him, embraceth him, and with a sweet smiling countenance, speaketh thus unto him: Peace my child, do not cry, Peace my sweet child, did thy mother wrong thee? And a hundred such sweet words, and then giveth him what he would. 

So did Christ raise this tempest of purpose, for it is said in the Text (and there was made a sudden motion in the Sea) to wit by miracle, on the sudden, not by natural course, which commonly is by degrees: and slept, or feigned to sleep, to try his disciples what means they would make, to awake him. 

And so doeth God ſend unto his children afflictions, and miseries, some of one kind, some of another: and seemeth to sleep, and not regard us, to see what inventions we will use to awake him , how earnestly we will pray unto him ourselves, and how we will procure other to pray for us, how we will fast, give alms, frequent sacraments, exercise ourselves in all manner of good works: which if he see we do, though he be much more willing to help us, then we to be holpen; knowing it is for our greater good, and that we mall { as Saint Paul telleth vs) make together with the affliction, that is to say according to the quantity of the affliction, spiritual profit, he prolongeth his slеер, as he did in the ship to his disciples, and as the mother aforesaid did to her child; that we might prolong, & multiply our means, to awake him, for our greater good. 

And at hast he will arise, and comfort us as the mother did her child, either delivering us out of our troubles, as he did his disciples in the ship: if not; to do unto us, as the Prophet David said God did unto him in his tribulation, dilate our hearts, not only to beare it patiently, which is much better, but to deſire to want the comforts of this world, that we may have them all together in heaven; and to joy in the expectation thereof, which is best of all.  

A Plaine Path-Way To Heaven By Fr.Thomas Hill 1634 


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