There is little in this life of a natural origin to stir the soul that is not in some way ensnaring or deceptive. Beauty reaches from the very edge of all existing things to the throne of God Himself, and yet, it can, more than any other natural endowment, draw man away from his end with false intimations of divinity. Well, perhaps not false, but misplaced. The great sin from which all others arise is the belief that we can make ourselves like God. Happiness is so simple and so easy to acquire. We do not wish to accept it so easily because we do not wish to receive it as a gift. We wish to believe we have earned it. Yet to receive happiness is to take the easy yoke which is nothing less than the cross itself. All our efforts to earn happiness for ourselves end in failure, in betrayal of ourselves, our comrades and of the beloved. Heroism beyond imagination is given only to those who receive the Gift. “If you knew the gift of God and who it is who is saying to you ‘give me to drink’ you would ask of him and he would give you living water”. The Face of Christ, the ineffable mirror of the Divine Perfections, is the only beauty that ravishes the soul. Once He is recognised and adored in His Holy Name, His Face may be seen with the light of charity in the features of all men, but not before. The singularity of the Redeemer is the historical (for every individual, family and society) expression of the gratuity of grace. To deny it is to spurn grace as such and loose all things.
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