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Like other Bathildas, like the women of the Gospel, these Christian women glorify God and make others glorify Him, when they are busying themselves in the service of the Master, joyfully, reasonably, possessing worldly and religious knowledge, and understanding their domestic and social duties.
But when women pass their lives in idleness, or fill them only with futile labors, though free from faults and, so to say, innocent, they most certainly are a failure. They as Christians ought to know that it is not enough to fear sin, to weep over one's faults,
into her crown-council the illustrious St. Leger, bishop of Autun, the future formidable adversary of the terrible Ebroin, and several other bishops. Even outside of her dominion she made the name of the Franks respected as well as law and justice. The king of Lombardy had rejected his wife and was about to introduce Arianism into his kingdom, when she brought him to repentance by her ambassador.
The proud Rotharis bowed his head before this former slave, transfigured by the double crown of royalty and sanctity. When she saw her task fulfilled and her sons grown up, deeply affected by the death of St. Eloi, her intimate guide, and beholding the intestine quarrels that threatened to destroy her admirable plan of French unity, she withdrew into a convent, to consecrate herself entirely to God, as before she had given herself entirely to her people.” (Lecoy de la Marche, “La Fondation de la France.")
to abstain from evil, but that they must act in the midst of the crowd at a time when human life more and more becomes a life of public struggles.
They ought to know their duty goes beyond the limits of personal piety and a pusilanimous devotion, if they want to have any influence over a society that is led away from God. Yes, placing their confidence in Christ, let them boldly march forward as apostles of activity. In that way they shall do the work of God; in that way, too, even without their knowledge, they shall straighten the hearts "bowed together under a spirit of infirmity.”
“For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption, wherewith we cry: Abba (Father).” *)
And wherever dwells the Spirit of the Lord, there is also true liberty.
*) Rom., VIII. 15.
MARTHA AND MARY.
JESUS RESUSCITATES THEIR BROTHER.
ESUS had left Jerusalem and crossed the Jordan to avoid the snares His enemies had laid for Him at the
capital. About that time Lazarus fell sick at Bethany.
Thereupon his sisters, Martha and Mary, sent a messenger to Jesus with the delicate and discreet message:
“Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick." *)
They thought it sufficient to let Jesus know the condition of their brother; yet, contrary to their expectation, this news seemed to make no impression on Him and He simply answered: “This sickness is not unto death but for the glory of God: that the Son of God may be glorified by it.'
*) John, XI.
And He remained two days longer in the same place. For Martha and Mary it was a strange absentation and a painful expectation. He Who by a single word could have healed their dear brother, did not seem to will it. The Supreme Consoler seemed to abandon His friends to their bereavement and sorrow. The Evangelist himself is astonished at it, for he cannot help repeating: “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus." The Saviour let affliction reach its highest degree in the death of Lazarus, though He had given as a reason for the affliction of His friends, "that sickness is for the glory of God.” To procure the glory of God He had come into the world; and now the sufferings, the agony, and the death of Lazarus shall give the most beautiful testimony to the Christ of the living God.
Thus Lazarus died, far away from his friend. Then Jesus said to His disciples: “Let us go into Judea again, Lazarus, our friend is dead, and I am glad for your sake, that you inay believe.”
God disposes events not only for His glory, which they always manifest, but also for the benefit of men, as any one may see who is attentive to His word and knows how to consider facts in their true relations.
Disciples of the Lord, behold here the value of your faith! That you may have a faith capable of transplanting mountains, which, in your future actions and sufferings, shall be both a light and a force to you, He lets Lazarus die and silences His own sorrow.
Similar dispositions of divine Providence are still, and will always be, of frequent occurrence. Hence the necessity of knowing how to await the hour of God without despair and murmuring; but those more perfect, at such times, bend their knees to adore the inscrutable decrees of Providence and pray with the Saviour: Thy will be done...... The future, often already on earth, but certainly in Heaven, shall reveal the reasons of so many secret trials and of the apparent failures of so many prayers.
“Lazarus is dead," said our Lord to His disciples, “because I was not there, but let us go to him."
What a touching insinuation! Had I been