Whitsunday GOSPEL St. John 14:23-31 The Tuesday Meditation
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: If anyone love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me, does not keep My words. And the word that you have heard is not Mine, but the Father’s Who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you while yet dwelling with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your mind whatever I have said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, or be afraid. You have heard Me say to you, ‘I go away and I am coming to you.’ If you loved Me, you would indeed rejoice that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes to pass, that when it has come to pass you may believe. I will no longer speak much with you, for the prince of the world is coming an in Me he has nothing. But he comes that the world may know that I love the Father, and that I do as the Father has commanded Me.
This feast being the feast of the holy Ghost, and the proper office and effect of the holy Ghost being to give grace,it may be called the feast of Grace.
Therefore this Meditation shall be of the grace, and gifts of the holy Ghost, & first what thing Grace is: secondly in what manner it is given, on the part of the holy Ghost, the giver thereof: Thirdly, upon what preparation or disposition on our part that are the receivers: And of the two first in this Meditation, of the third in the next.
For the first: grace is a quality, or habit inherent in our souls, given us of the holy Ghost, moving and inciting us to all goodness and diverting us from all badness & that for the love of God, and a desire to enjoy him, he being infinite good and the supreme ultimate end whereunto we are created and ordained.
This, if it be not a perfect definition of grace, yet it may pass for a description thereof; & because the motive for which we are moved to good, and diverted from bad is the love of God, grace may be called the love of God: We love things because they are good already, and pleasing unto us, but God in loving us, maketh us good, & consequently maketh us good, & consequently maketh us to love him again, for we love not God first, but he loveth us first, and in loving us, maketh us to love him again.
This grace or love of God towards us is the life of our soul: For even as our body is dead, when the soul is departed out of it,which gave life and motion unto it: so is our Soul, when it is bereaved of grace, for Grace, being that which moveth and inclineth us to goodness, and divert us from badness; and sin moving and inclining us to pravity and badness;, and diverting us from goodness, which is quite contraries being one to expell another; sin expelleth grace,by reason whereof such sins as are of the greater sort, and not such as for the littleness thereof we call venial, we call mortal or deadly, because they expel grace, & are the spiritual death of the soul: & as a body without a soul, being dead, will soon putrefy and stink that no man almost can endure it; so doth a soul being dead by mortal sin, putrefy & stink before almighty God,and his Angels and Saints, especially our good Angel that is always attending upon us.
Of this putrefaction and stink the Prophet David, speaking not only in his own person,but in the person of every sinner, sayeth thus: My wonder, to wit of sin, have putrefied and are corrupted,and stinking, through my folly,and this not only before God and his Angels,and Saints in heaven, but even to good people here on earth: for if according to St.Paul the good by their good example be a good odor of Christ, then sinners by their will example are an ill odor; which is so true that some holy people here on earth knowing by revelation from God, the secret enormous sins of some in whose presence they have been, they have withal sensibly smelt a horrible and noisome stink, which they were hardly able to endure.
Thus much concerning Grace the life of our Soul. Now in what manner it is given.