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Come to Call Sinners

  • FATHER GERALD VANN, O.P.

It is not enough . . . to say that a growing sense of sin means a growing love of God and therefore a growing joy in God.  


123 We must say also that it means a growing closeness to God and therefore the recapturing of a primal innocence, with the special wisdom, strength, trust, and joy which that innocence carries with it.  And so it becomes quite clear what we must do if we wish to imitate Mary in her twofold richness of life.

First, we must ponder these things in our hearts: to try to understand more deeply what God does to share in and cure man's sorrows and sins, and what we, for our part, have done so differently; and so to find true creative sorrow and the love and the wisdom that spring from it.

But then, secondly, we must begin to say, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord": and this is something we can say no matter what history of accumulated evil may lie behind, provided only that now we begin to know and acknowledge our nothingness and helplessness, and destroy all the self-fashioned and self-imposed masks we have presented to ourselves and to the world, and stand naked under the creative and recreative hand of God.

Be it done unto me: done from the very beginning, for there is nothing here but the negation of light and life; nothing therefore that can give any direction, have any rights, form any pattern; no power, no entity, no I, but only the dark chaos of a nothingness out of which God, but only God, can create a real man.  Belt done unto me.  Mary shows us how to let love conquer fear then, in order that now, at long last, there may be an I, and all the old falsehoods and fictions of pride and vanity may be swept away.  And so the new I is indeed something new, newborn, a beginning of life.  

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Acknowledgement

vannFather Gerald Vann, O.P. "Come to Call Sinners." from Mary's Answer for Our Troubled Times (Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2001).

Reprinted with permission of Sophia Institute Press.

The Author

vann vann1 Father Gerald Vann, O.P. (1924-1963) was a British Roman Catholic theologian and philosopher. He joined the Dominican Order in 1923 and was ordained a priest in 1929. Vann obtained a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Collegio Angelico, the future Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum in Rome in 1931. His books include works on just war theory and St. Thomas Aquinas. Among his many books, he is the author of The Pain of Christ and the Sorrow of God, Mary's Answer for Our Troubled Times, and The Devil and How to Resist Him.

Copyright © 2001 Sophia Institute Press
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