To give much and ask little in personal return is independence of the highest kind. But faith alone can make it possible. The Catholic Faith gives that particular orientation of mind which is independent of this world, knowing the account which it must give to God. To some it is duty and the reign of conscience, to others it is detachment and the reign of the love of God, the joyful flight of the soul towards heavenly things. The particular name matters little, it has a centre of gravity. “As everlasting foundations upon a solid rock, so the commandments of God in the heart of a holy woman.” [1—Ecclus. XXVI. 24.]
EXTRACT FROM “THE BLESSED SACRAMENT”
BY FATHER FABER.
BOOK III. SEC. VII.
Let us put aside the curtain of vindicative fire, and see what this pain of loss is like; I say, what it is like, for it fortunately surpasses human imagination to conceive its dire reality. Suppose that we could see the huge planets and the ponderous stars whirling their terrific masses with awful, and if it might be so, clamorous velocity, and thundering through the fields of unresisting space with furious gigantic momentum, such as the mighty avalanche most feebly figures, and thus describing with chafing eccentricities and frightful deflections, their mighty centre-seeking and centre-flying circles, we should behold in the nakedness of its tremendous operations the Divine law of gravitation. Thus in like manner should we see the true relations between God and ourselves, the true meaning and worth of His beneficent presence, if we could behold a lost soul at the moment of its final and judicial reprobation, a few moments after its separation from the body and in all the strength of its disembodied vigour and the fierceness of its penal immortality.
No beast of the jungle, no chimera of heathen imagination, could be so appalling. No sooner is the impassable bar placed between God and itself than what theologians call the creature’s radical love of the Creator breaks out in a perfect tempest of undying efforts. It seeks its centre and it cannot reach it. It bounds up towards God, and is dashed down again. It thrusts and beats against the granite walls of its prison with such incredible force, that the planet must be strong indeed whose equilibrium is not disturbed by the weight of that spiritual violence. Yet the great law of gravitation is stronger still, and the planet swings smoothly through its beautiful ether. Nothing can madden the reason of the disembodied soul, else the view of the desirableness of God and the inefficacious attractions of the glorious Divinity would do so.