Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Christian's Comfort

I found this on a little note card in my Aunt Carmen’s bible today during a visit. Uncle Aldo was talking about John 5:24, how it’s his favorite verse in the whole Bible. When I asked him what it said, he leaned over, looked at me intently and quoted, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” Then he sighed and said, “That pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it?” They are devoted Catholics and have been their whole lives, but in recent years it’s as if they just discovered the Bible. It’s so great. Uncle Aldo said he never thought about it much before, but now they study it regularly. Aunt Carmen wanted to show me her Bible, so while I was flipping through it, this piece of paper fell out and I thought it was beautiful.

The Christian’s Comfort
(Extract from a letter by Dr. James DeKoven, written just before his death, to a friend in affliction, March, 1879)
The Christian’s comfort in sorrow is to be found, not in the memory, but in the presence of the one we love. The Christian is in Christ; the departed loved one is in Christ, too, only nearer to Him than we on earth. One is on this side of the veil, the other on that. By coming nearer to Christ the living and the dead come nearer to each other in Him, not in any physical manner by sight or sound or touch – that would be only to restore what is most imperfect and what death was meant to end – but in the deep, hidden bonds that bind the souls of them that love Him together in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thus, prayers and good works and Holy Communion and the personal love of Jesus, become the comfort of one that sorrows, not because they make one forget or benumb one’s feelings, but because through them the soul is being drawn nearer to Christ.

Thus there becomes a deep meaning in the benediction, “Blessed are they that mourn."

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