Sunday Reflection – 19 May – The Fifth Sunday of Easter, C
Bl John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
O my God, holiness becomes Your House and yet You make Your abode in my breast. My Lord, my Saviour, to me You come, hidden under the semblance of earthly things, yet in that very flesh and blood which You took from Mary. You, who did first inhabit Mary’s breast, come to me.
My God, You see me; I cannot see myself. Were I ever so good a judge about myself, ever so unbiased and with ever so correct a rule of judging, still, from my very nature, I cannot look at myself and view myself truly and wholly. But You, as You come to me, contemplate me.
When I say, Domine, non sum dignus—”Lord, I am not worthy”—You whom I am addressing, alone understands in their fullness the words which I use. You see how unworthy so great a sinner is to receive the One Holy God, whom the Seraphim adore with trembling. You see, not only the stains and scars of past sins but the mutilations, the deep cavities, the chronic disorders which they have left in my soul. You see the innumerable living sins, though they be not mortal, living in their power and presence, their guilt and their penalties, which clothe me. You see all my bad habits, all my mean principles, all wayward lawless thoughts, my multitude of infirmities and miseries, yet You come. You see most perfectly how little I really feel what I am now saying, yet You come.
O my God, left to myself should I not perish under the awful splendour and the consuming fire of Your Majesty. Enable me to bear You, lest I have to say with Peter, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”