Returning to last evening’s post about yesterday’s confession, my thoughts were taken further by this morning’s meditation from S. Thomas Aquinas – I have a splendid volume entitled ‘Meditations for Every Day’ originally extracted from his works by fr Mezard OP, and translated by fr McEniry OP.
In fact I suppose I should say yesterday’s and today’s meditations : I finally got back to the book today after the hiatus of the last week, only to discover that I was in effect in the middle of a two-part meditation, and so went back and undertook yesterday’s as well . . . a double meditation about Faith.
In it, Aquinas points out that ‘faith enables us to believe in another life superior to this, and teaches us to believe that better things are awaiting us. Hence, by faith, we conquer the vanities of this world and fear not its adversities’; and then goes on to consider the relationship between Faith and Fear; in which he observes that ‘lifeless faith is the cause of slavish fear, while living faith is the cause of filial fear, because it makes man adhere to God and to be subject to Him by charity’.
Finally, he observes that the pleasures of the present life : ‘which pleasures, at most, are fast fleeting and perishable’ – an observation which my own experiences of last weekend amply proved.
Aquinas is, of course, absolutely right; but he is also right in the inverse way, inasmuch as not only does faith enable us to believe in another life, superior to this : but that painful experience of the ‘fast fleeting and perishable’ character of the present world highlights the superiority of the eternal life on offer in Heaven, which must in turn assist us to develop the faith which will, we pray, help us eventually to get there.