Our whole Christian outlook should be an outlook of goodness, an outlook of sanctity.
We are not meant to be made gloomy by the multiplicity of sin. We' know that all sin has been destroyed by Christ when, as Saint Peter tells us, he destroyed it by his own death.
Sanctity is the natural atmosphere of Christians; it is their daily life. They are born into sanctity when they are baptized; they are kept in sanctity through the manifold graces of the sacraments and through the daily cleansing of Holy Mass, surrounded on all sides by the angels who illumine their minds and strengthen their will. The ordinary state of Christians is a state of sanctity.
If you were given a vision of the Catholic people no doubt you might see many souls for the moment in a state of mortal sin; but if you saw the Christian people in their millions, what a spectacle it would be! The amount of grace that goes up to heaven; the purity of their lives; their patience; how near to God they are; how the power of Christ pours into them like a mighty stream which never ceases to flow; how even the sinner is constantly being brought into the waters of grace again; if there is a fall, at once that fall is made good by the grace of repentance; how when a believing Catholic falls we have the one Sacrifice for sin; the angels go and whisper to him words of repentance and contrition, and he rises as quickly as he fell. Oh, if we could but see that great spectacle!...
Begin with goodness, with sanctity, with the thought of God, and that you are the children of God. Begin with grace, not with sin and apostasy and infidelity; these things need not enter into your lives; you know that they exist, but they need not affect you. What should affect you is the power of Christ, the power of sanctity.
Dom Anscar Vonier, O.S.B. "The Measure to Measure With." excerpt from The Art of Christ: Retreat Conferences (Burns, Oates & Washbourne, Ltd., 1927).
The Art of Christ: Retreat Conferences is out of print and in the public domain.
Dom Anscar Vonier, O.S.B. (1875–1938) was the abbot of Buckfast Abbey in Devon, England and the most gifted dogmatic theologian writing — and preaching — in England during the inter-War years. By an unexpected blessing, the English Catholic Church had in its midst a German monk of outstanding competence and spiritual nobility. He is the author, among other books, of A Key to the Doctrine of the Eucharist, The Life of the World to Come, The Personality of Christ, and The Human Soul and Its Relations with Other Spirits.
Copyright © In the public domain
Not all articles published on CERC are the objects of official Church teaching, but these are supplied to provide supplementary information.