Lenten Thoughts – 14 March – Thursday of the First week of Lent, Year C, Today’s
Christ Calls Us Deeper Still
Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
Called on from grace to grace
All through our life Christ is calling us. He called us first in Baptism but afterwards also, whether we obey His voice or not, He graciously calls us still. If we fall from our Baptism, He calls us to repen,; if we are striving to fulfil our calling, He calls us on from grace to grace and from holiness to holiness, while life is given us.
Abraham was called from his home, Peter from his nets, Matthew from his office, Elisha from his farm, Nathanael from his retreat – we are all in course of calling, on and on, from one thing to another, having no resting-place but mounting towards our eternal rest and obeying one command only, to have another put upon us. He calls us again and again, in order to justify us, again and again—and again and again and more and more, to sanctify and glorify us.
Christ calls us right now!
It were well, if we understood this but we are slow to master the great truth, that Christ is, as it were, walking among us and by His hand, or eye, or voice, bidding us to follow Him.
We do not understand that His call is a thing which takes place now. We think it took place in the Apostles’ days but we do not believe in it, we do not look out for it in our own case. We have not eyes to see the Lord, far different from the beloved Apostle, who knew Christ even when the rest of the disciples knew Him not. When He stood on the shore after His resurrection and bade them cast the net into the sea, “that disciple whom Jesus loved said unto Peter, It is the Lord” (John 21:7).
Do you accept Christ’s’ call?
There is nothing miraculous or extraordinary in His dealings with us. He works through our natural faculties and circumstances of life. Still what happens to us in providence, is in all essential respects, what His voice was to those whom He addressed, when on earth – whether He commands by a visible presence, or by a voice, or by our consciences, it matters not, so that we feel it to be a command. If it is a command, it may be obeyed or disobeyed, it may be accepted as Samuel or St Paul accepted it, or put aside after the manner of the young man who had great possessions.