A real and powerful encouragement in the struggle against
sin, and in the holy and Christian life, is the contemplation of the sufferings
of Christ. Of this the Apostle says, "and if ye call on the Father, Who
without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's works, pass the
time of your sojourning here in fear: forasmuch as ye know that ye were
redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold, from your vain
conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious
Blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish or spot" (1 Pet.
Look, O Christian, at that by which you were
delivered from sin, the devil, hell, and eternal death. Not by any perishable
substance, but by what? By the most precious and priceless Blood of Christ, the
Son of God. Then, of your own will, do you will not wish to sin and to offend
Christ your great Benefactor with sin, and so cast yourself again into that
very misfortune from which Christ delivered you by His most bitter suffering?
This is as though someone who loved and pitied you delivered you from fire, or
drowning, or captivity, or death, or prison, or some other such misfortune, and
of your own will you gave yourself up again to that same misfortune.
That is what you do when you sin, and through sin
you give yourself over to the devil again and cast yourself into eternal
destruction. Sin is sweet to man, but its fruits are bitter and heavy ó eternal
death, "For the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23).
In the same way the treasure of eternal salvation
was bought for us by nothing else but by the very Blood of Jesus Christ, the
Son of God. It is far more precious than the whole world, more than heaven and
earth and the fullness thereof, because it is eternal and full of every good
thing, eternal and incomprehensible, and it was purchased at an immeasurable
price: Christ, the Lord of Glory and God, obtained it for us by His own Blood.
Then do you wish to lose so great and incomprehensible a treasure by your own
will? Christ snatched you out of destruction as He is almighty and gave you
eternal blessedness as a precious pearl. "For so an entrance shall be
ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 1:11).
Keep the faith, then, and guard it against your
enemy the devil, who desires and attempts to seize it away from you and make
you his captive. Struggle against this enemy; consider, then, the suffering of
Christ and it will teach you every virtue.
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