Anthony of Padua
"His clothes became white as snow"
"which no launderer on earth be able to do"
Saint Anthony of Padua
The clothing of our soul is members of our body: they must be white. Solomon says: "At any time your clothes are white" (Ecclesiastes 9:8). What innocence? "Like snow," says the Gospel. The Lord, speaking through Isaiah, promises to sinners who convert, "If your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made white as snow"
Observe here two things: the scarlet and snow. Scarlet is a fabric that has the color of fire and blood. Snow is cold and white. In the heat of the fire is represented sin, his blood uncleanness, in the coldness of snow has symbolized the grace of the Holy Spirit, the purity of whiteness in mind. Says the Lord: "If your sins be as scarlet," etc. It is as if to say: If you return to me, I instill in you the grace of the Holy Spirit who quenched the ardor of his sin and wash garbage. He says by the mouth of Ezekiel: "I will pour upon you pure water and be clean from all your impurities' (Ezekiel 36.25). So the clothes, ie the members of our body, are white as snow, so that the coldness of snow, ie. compunction of mind, extinguishes the ardor of sin, and purity of a holy life cleanse all uncleanness.
The show also dresses the virtues of our soul, which covered them; it is glorious in the sight of the Lord. Of these garments in the Bible story is told of Jacob Rebecca dressed very nice clothes, who kept with him (cf. Gen 27:15). Rebecca, that the wisdom of God the Father, dressed Jacob, namely the right of virtue, because very beautiful woven garments by hand and the art of his wisdom: holding clothes with him, placed in the treasury of his glory, and really, why is Lord and master of everything and gives it to whom He wants and when it wants. These vests are these candidates for the effect they produce, because they make the white man, I say just like snow, but much of it. And these clothe any bleacher, that no preacher on earth can make them so candid with the washing of his preaching.
You, or proud, draws the eyes of your mind the corruption of your body rot and the stench that will send. Where is your pride then that the heart, the show of your wealth? Then there will be no more words full of wind, because the bladder is deflated to a small puncture needle. These truths, meditate within, pustule smear the head, ie humiliate the proud mind.
And you, miser, mentioned last issue, where there will be the judge angry, there will be the executioner ready to torment, and there are demons and that accusing conscience which reproves. So your silver will be thrown away, the gold becomes dirt, your gold and your silver will not rid the day of wrath of God (cf. Ez 7.19.) These truths, carefully thought out, and eat off the warts of superfluity, and the divide between those who lack even the necessities. So when you fast, anoint - I beg you - your boss with this ointment, what subtract that to yourself is bestowed to the poor.
You then, or lustful, think about the hell unquenchable fire, where there is death without death, end endless search for where the death but not find, where you eat the damned language and curse their creator. Wood that will fire the souls of sinners and the breath of the wrath of God on fire. Isaiah says: "Since yesterday," that is eternity, "Tophet is prepared," the hell of fire "deep and wide. Fire and wood abound, and the breath of the Lord comes on stream as sulfur"(Is 30.33). Here is the ointment that stings, penetrating, able to heal the most stubborn lust. As drives out another, so these truths, meditated assiduously, can repress stimulus of lust. You then, when you fast, put oil on the head with this ointment.
Note that the scale has two "arms" (pillars) and six steps, by which it is easy to climb. This scale depicts Jesus Christ and the two arms are the divine and human nature, the six steps are his humility and poverty, wisdom and mercy, patience and obedience. He was humble in assuming our nature, when "looked at the humility of his handmaiden" (Lk 1:48). Was poor in his nativity, in which the Virgin mendicant, giving birth to the Son of God, had no where to place it, wrapped in swaddling clothes, if not a sheep manger
(cf. Lk 2:7).
He was wise in his preaching, because "began to do and teach" (Acts 1:1). God was gracious in accepting sinners graciously: "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners" (Mt 9:13) to repentance. Patient was under the scourges, the blows, the spitting, it said the mouth of Isaiah: "I made my face hard as stone" (Is 50.7). The stone, if it is struck, does not react or complain against those who smite. So Christ: "Outraged, he answered with insults, and suffering did not threaten (1 Peter 2:23). Then was "obedient unto death, even death on a cross" (Phil 2:8). This ladder was leaning against the earth when Christ was devoted to preaching and working miracles; touched the sky when, as Luke tells us, he spent his nights in prayer (cf. Lk 6:12), in conversation with the Father.
Here, scale is straightened. Why not go up? Why keep crawling with his hands and feet? Climb up, because Jacob saw angels ascending and descending the stairs. Climb up then, or angels, or prelates of the church, or followers of Jesus Christ! Climb up, I tell you how pleasant to contemplate the Lord (cf. Ps 33.9); get help and advice to the next because of this the next need. Why try to go another way, instead of the stairs? Anywhere else you want to climb a cliff hanging over you. "O fools and slow of heart, do not say" believe in "(Luke 24:25) because you believe, and even the demons believe (cf. James 2:19), but you are rock hard and dealing with people. Assume you can get any other way to Mount Tabor, the rest of the light, the glory of heavenly bliss, instead of the stairs of humility, poverty and the Lord's Passion? Convince yourself that you cannot! Here are the Lord’s words: "Who wants to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Mt 16:24). And in Jeremiah we read: "You call me Father, and do not neglect to walk behind me"
Augustine says: "The doctor first to drink bitter medicine, not to the patient refuses to drink it." And Gregory: "drinking the bitter cup you get the joy of healing." "To save life, you have to deal with iron and fire" (Ovid). Climb So fear not, because there the Lord at the top of the stairs, ready to welcome those who ascend. "In fact, Jesus took Peter, James and John and went on a mountain top".
We renew the invitation
If your heart is anxious to do something for the brothers who are grieved by suffering or loneliness, you can greet the Lord with ardor. Prayer is one of the highest forms of charity.
If you then look for other marvelous brothers who can join you in prayer in a single heart, then visit the site of the Invisible Monastery of Charity and Brotherhood. There you will find a family willing to welcome you with open arms.
If you want to accept the invitation of Jesus, or just want to try to pray from your home, click here and you will find many marvelous brothers willing to join spiritually in a great, intimidating prayer of intercession.
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