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Saturday in the Second Week of Lent


Saturday in the Second Week: Lessons of Humility and of Detachment upon Thabor

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

We will tomorrow terminate our meditations upon the Transfiguration by considering: first, the profound humility of Jesus Christ which is shown in this mystery; second, the universal detachment which this mystery reveals in the apostles. We will then make the resolution: first, to attach ourselves to God alone, without desiring anything else; second, never to say or do anything through self-love or human respect. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the words of St Paul: “Jesus Christ is everything to the heart” (Coloss. iii:11).

Meditation for the Morning

Let us prostrate ourselves in spirit at the feet of Jesus transfigured; let us there admire the humility which this mystery reveals to us in Jesus Christ, and the detachment which it reveals in the three apostles who were present upon Thabor. Let us beg of Him to infuse these dispositions into our souls.

The Transfiguration shows forth the profound humility of Jesus Christ

Jesus, in revealing the glory to which His holy humanity has a right in virtue of its hypostatic union with the Word, enables us thereby to understand the profound humility which led Him to keep constantly hidden so magnificent a privilege. It is the only occasion, during the whole course of His life, in which He allows a few rays of His glory to escape; and even then He does it only in order to strengthen the faith and sustain the courage of His apostles in the midst of the persecutions which await them; it is only in the presence of the three apostles, in a place apart and solitary, in order not to allow what might make Him the object of honour and praise to show itself more than was necessary; it was only during a few short moments, and immediately afterwards He resumes His poor, humble, and obscure state; and lastly He recommends His three apostles to keep secret what they had seen, to say nothing to anyone, and to leave Him the whole of His obscurity (Matt. xvii:9), O admirable humility! His transfiguration indubitably shows that He has at His disposition riches compared with which gold and precious stones are but as so much dust; and yet He leads the poorest of lives.

The foxes have holes and the birds of the air a nest, and He has no place where to repose His head! His transfiguration indubitably shows that He is great beyond all thought; that Moses and the prophets are only His servants and His messengers; and yet He hides Himself under the lowest and most humble exterior. He conceals from the eyes of the world all that is glorious in Him; and if, later on, He chooses Jerusalem as the most elevated theatre where He could show Himself, it will be only to suffer there, on the great day, opprobrium and confusion. His transfiguration indubitably shows that He possesses in Himself all the joys of heaven; and yet He delivers up His soul to anguish, His body to suffering, to hunger, to thirst, to fatigue, to suffering, and to death. What lessons of virtue! Let us prostrate ourselves, let us adore, let us love and imitate Him. Let us no longer seek to make a parade of what is an honour to us and to hide what humbles us.

The Transfiguration shows forth a universal detachment in the Apostles

The apostles are so ravished by the beauties which they discover in Jesus that they no longer desire anything else here below. “Lord” they exclaim, “it is good for us to be here;” with Thee alone we have all, and the heart has nothing more to desire here on earth. We have in the world relations, friends, acquaintances, a thousand things to which we cling; but, Lord, in Thee we have everything; for Thy sake we heartily consent to abandon everything; we esteem ourselves to be rich enough if we possess Thee; sufficiently happy if Thou art with us, honoured enough if we are in Thy company. Let us remain here (St Ambrose). It is thus that a soul which has appreciated Jesus, which has studied His beauties and His charms, is detached from all created things, says St Ambrose. Prosperity does not intoxicate it, adversity does not cast it down; whether it be praised or blamed, whether it be honoured or despised, whether it be rich or poor, it signifies little. Jesus alone is its all. Like the apostles upon Thabor, it sees nothing but Jesus in all things; it seeks only to please Jesus; it aspires to nothing but the esteem and love of Jesus; and with the eyes of its heart fixed upon Jesus, all the rest is nothing to it. Wherefore, it says, should I attach myself during life to that which death will take away from me? wherefore love during time what will be nothing to me during eternity? Is it thus that our heart is detached from all that passes away, and is fixed upon Jesus, who does not pass away?

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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