Thursday, 19 October 2006

Salva me, Fons Pietatis!

From the Holy Father's general audience today:

Today I conclude my series of reflections on the Apostles by speaking of Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Jesus. Why did he do it? Some say he was too fond of money, and the offer of thirty pieces of silver was too much to resist. The Gnostic writers say he wanted to liberate Jesus from the shackles of mortality. But the Gospels tell us that Satan entered into the heart of Judas. He yielded to a temptation from the Evil one. It is a mistake to think that the great privilege of living in company with Jesus is enough to make a person holy. Jesus does not force our will when he invites us to follow him along the path of the Beatitudes. The only way to avoid the pitfalls that surround us is to give ourselves entirely to Jesus, to enter into full communion with him, so that we think and act as he did, in total obedience to the Father. God can turn everything to a good purpose. Even Judas’s betrayal became, through divine Providence, the occasion for Jesus’s supreme act of love, for the salvation of the world.

The passage I highlighted left me with a profound and healthy fear. How often do I not think (implicitly, to be sure) that if only God would grant me more of His Countenance, or His Presence, or His Grace, I would simply resist sin without fail and immediately grow in holiness. The Pope's words offer me the remedy for this error. Would it not be worse, I wonder, if we were granted a continual place of limitless Grace such that we would be aware of it, and then turn our wills against Him? Indeed, I need not wonder, for the example lived already: Judas.

Rex tremendae majestatis, qui salvandos salvas gratis, salva me, Fons Pietatis!

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