02 March 2006

Good Thought from Gerhard...

...in light of the Invocabit Gospel:

It is very profitable for the faithful soul to be tested and confirmed in the faith by temptations, whilst tarrying in this world. Our Savior Himself was willing to wrestle with the devil in the wilderness, in order that He might overcome Him for us and for our salvation and thus be our faithful Champion in all our conflicts with the tempter. Before He ascended to heaven He descended into hell as its Conqueror, and so the faithful soul must first descend into the very lowest depths of temptation, before ever it can ascend to the glories of heaven.

Johann Gerhard, Sacred Meditations, XL. “The Advantages of Temptations”


Anonymous said...

Why must I descend if Christ already did?

William Weedon said...

Because your Lord calls upon you to deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and *follow* Him.

Or as St. Paul said: "And if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." Romans 8:17

One of the most beautiful thoughts about the "depths" comes from the pen of Martin Chemnitz: from eternity God has designed the crosses by which He conforms us to the image of His Son.

These sufferings come to us as gifts from the Father who loves us and always has. They are not designed to destroy us, but conforming us to the image of the Beloved Son, to bring us with Him through the depths to the joys of eternal life.