Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sermons of Bossuet

Rorate Caeli provides some excerpts from sermons of the great Bishop Bossuet (1627-1704). As the Good Shepherd, Jesus comes to seek the lost:
Though Jesus Christ, as Son of God, may take pleasure in seeing at His feet a sinner who has returned to the right path, yet, being Himself essential Sanctity, He must love the innocence that has never strayed with a stronger love. For as it is nearer to His own infinite holiness and more perfectly imitates it, He cannot help honoring it by closer familiarity. Whatever favor the tears of a penitent may find in His eyes, they can never equal the pure charm of a holiness ever-faithful to Him.

But when God becomes man to save us from our sins He, as our Savior, comes to seek the guilty: for them He lives, because to them He was sent. How does He Himself describe the object of His mission? "Non veni vocari iustos" ("I came not to seek the Just"), that is to say : "Though they may be the most noble and worthy of My friendship, My commission does not extend to them. As Savior, I am to seek the lost; as Physician, the sick; as Redeemer, those who are captive." Hence it is that He loves only the society of such as these because to them alone He was sent into the world.

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