Friday, November 25, 2016

Catholic Hermit Ponders Zechariah 13

"And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God." --Zechariah 13:9

Barne's Notes on the Bible:

"I will bring the third part through the fire - Such is always God's ways. 'Thou hast proved us, O God; Thou hast tried us, like as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the snare, Thou laidest trouble upon our loins: we went through fire and water, and Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place' 

"Psalm 66:9-11. 'I have refined thee, but not with silver, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction' Isaiah 48:10; and, 'Through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom of God' Acts 14:22.

"Dionysius: 'In adversity virtue is most tried, and it is shown what advance a person has made; for 'patience' hath 'a perfect work' James 1:4; and it is called the touchstone of all other virtues, as is written; 'God tried His elect as gold in the furnace and received them as a burnt offering'; and, 'All the faithful who have pleased the Lord have passed through many tribulations'. And the angel Raphael saith to Tobias, 'Because thou wert accepted of God, need was that temptation should prove thee' . 

"'Adversities are granted to the elect of God, and therefore to be rejoiced in with the whole heart.' 'Fire, crosses, racks were prepared; swords executioners torturers were put in action; new forms of suffering were invented, and yet Christian virtue remained moveless, unconquered: the fiercer the onslaught, the more glorious was the triumph.': 'The more suffered, the more believed in Christ.' 

"Osorius: 'Whose virtue they admired, these they imitated, and shared the suffering, that they might be partakers of the glory. This was that fire, whereby God willed that His own should be tried and purified, that, with Christ whom they gave themselves to imitate, they might enjoy everlasting glory.'

"I will bless him and will say, It is My people - Dionysius: 'not only by creation as the rest, but by devotion and worship, by predestination and infusion of grace, by singular Providence, by mutual love; 'and it shall say, The Lord is my God,' whom alone above all things, I long for, love, worship.'

"This promise is oftentimes renewed through the prophets, oftentimes fulfilled in Christ, whenever the Church is recalled from listlessness by fiery trials, and through them her children are restored to deeper devotedness and closer union with God." 

I realize that I did not comment on the above when I posted this blog.  Sometimes I just need to ponder something, let it simmer within for awhile.  Then, today I sent the above to a friend who is going through a terrible trial with rugged bronchitis of which the length of illness and serious coughing has caused cracked and broken ribs.  On top of that, the person has gone through an ordeal with spouse trying to conceive a child.

So the above, I have been pondering, requires much faith to actually accept that one might be very much on this track in life, of desiring union with Christ and then accepting that the suffering is real, actual, in trials that seem more than we can bear.  At those times we are reminded by the Living Word that we will gain in strength of deeper faith as a result and be closer to the goal of union with the Divine.

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