Humility, poverty, patience, and obedience are the four who bring the soul, as it lies helpless, to Jesus.
The roof is a fourfold one: of pride, avarice, stubbornness, and anger. Covering and obscuring the face of the soul so that it cannot see the light of justice, this roof is opened by the four virtues mentioned. Thus they let down before Jesus, trusting in his mercy, both soul and body. No one can come to Jesus, unless he is carried by these four virtues.
Note these three points: Jesus saw their faith; Courage, child; and your sins are forgiven. Faith without love is empty. A Christian's faith is with love. Take note: it is one thing to "believe" God, another to "believe that" there is a God, and another to "believe in" God.
To believe God is to believe that what he says is true, which bad people may do. To believe in the second sense is to believe in his existence — that he is God — and the devils do this. To believe in God is, by believing, to love him, to go to him, to adhere to him and be incorporated into his members. Where there is this sort of faith, there is trust in God's mercy and remission of sin.
We ask you, then, Lord Jesus Christ, to put away the lying of our pride, to drive out our avarice by poverty, to break our anger with patience, and to crush our disobedience by the obedience of your Passion. By this may we be presented to you, receive the forgiveness of our sins, and be made fit to rejoice with you forever. Grant this, you who are blessed forever and ever. Amen.
Beloved, let us ask our Lord Jesus Christ to make us rise from sin, take up the bed of our flesh, and return to the house of heavenly blessedness.
Saint Anthony of Padua. "Seeing Their Faith" excerpt from Sermons for Sundays and Festivals, Volume III, (Padova: Messaggero Di Sant'Antonio-Editrice, 2009).
Reprinted under Fair Use. This excerpt appeared in Magnificat. Image credit: James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). The Palsied Man Let Down through the Roof (Le paralytique descendu du toit), 1886-1896.
Saint Anthony of Padua was born in 1195, died in 1231, and canonized a year later in 1232 by Pope Gregory IX. His feast day is June 13, and he is the patron of lost items.Copyright © 2009 Messaggero Di Sant'Antonio-Editrice
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