Sunday, May 10, 2020

Apostle of Andalusia

Today is the feast of St. Juan de Ávila, Doctor of the Church. From one of his letters:

After some great sorrow, God usually grants us happiness, as to Abraham He gave “Isaac, the desired,” which name signifies“ laughter.” After a while, the Almighty plunged the patriarch into grief again, by commanding him to kill the son He had' bestowed for his consolation: so does God often deprive His children of their happiness, bidding them sacrifice it and live in sadness. The Apostles felt perfectly safe and confident as they embarked with Christ in their boat; yet they were terrified when the storm arose which seemed likely to drown them, while He, on Whose protection they depended, slept, and appeared to have forgotten them. But our Lord had not forgotten them: it was His command which raised the tempest, and He was as watchful to deliver them as to place them in danger. Why then should you be troubled by the trials your Saviour sends you? Why should you dislike the medicine which has come from the hands of your tender Father? Do you think He is austere enough to grieve you, and too weak to deliver you from the afflictions sent by Him? Does He lack mercy, that He will not pardon you, and grant you greater graces than ever? Have a strong faith in God's goodness, although to your weak understanding, He seems severe. For your soul, confidence in His mercy is as far superior to distrust, as the certainty of faith surpasses the ignorance of human reason.