see how it could be cleansed unless by fire. Renovation seemed too late. But desire had not died out in the world, and where desire is, renovation may always follow.
Behold, I make all things new," He said when the fulness of time had come. Behold! —that bugle note of Scripture, calling to Attention; that word which has ushered in God's greatest mysteries: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord!" "Behold the place where the Lord was laid!" "Behold, I am with you all days!" "Behold, He cometh and every eye shall see Him!" I make all things new — I to whom all things are possible, who can restore the first robe, and make that which was scarlet white as snow.
All things —a new heaven and a new earth; heaven at peace again with the earth renewed in Christ; angels and men united in one brotherhood, under one and the same Head; a new Gospel brought to the world, a new fire to cleanse, inflame, and expand the hearts of men.
How cold and hard was the old world before He came—society divided between tyrants and slaves; on one side an appalling selfishness, luxury, and cruelty, on the other a misery without limit and without hope. No protection for the weak, no justice for the oppressed, no mercy for the poor. Not a hospital for the sick, not a refuge for the homeless, the needy, the aged, the orphan, the failures of life. "Men, lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked, without affection...without kindness," says St. Paul. As to humility, for a virtue unknown to it, the world had not even a name.
He came. "When all things were in quiet silence and night was in the midst o f her course, Thy Almighty Word came down from Heaven," and His Spirit renewed the face o f the earth. The heathen world was renewed to the very core. Wherever the influence of the Gospel prevailed, and in the measure in which it prevailed, pagan ideals, institutions, laws, society—all were transformed. A new Covenant succeeded to the old, a new Church to the Synagogue that had proved unfaithful to its trust, a Church with new authority, new privileges, new means of grace, a new Tabernacle of God with men, whence all good flows to man. To the members of this Church He says today, says to them one by one: "Behold, I make all things new. I am ready to forgive and forget the past, to bind up what was broken, to strengthen what was weak, and what was sound and strong to preserve.
Jesus, dear Lord, in whose sacred Name we begin each year of our pilgrimage, fulfil in me Thy promise. Come to me today to make all things new within me. Do more than cleanse: Cor mundum crea in me, Deus. Create a new heart in me, O God." A workman weeks new material to display his skill. In default of this, he will acdept what is deteriorated or repaired, but his choice is for the new. Create a new heart in me, O God! I appeal for this to Thy Almightiness, Thy Wisdom, Thy Goodness. All things are possible to Thee. All ways are known to Thee and are open to Thee. And Thy Will to do this for me I cannot doubt, seeing that Thou bringest me as Thy New Year's Gift—Thyself! Say to me, then, on the threshold of this New Year:
"Behold, I make all things new!' Give me a new interest in the things of God, in all that leads to Thee, in all that belongs to Thy service, in all work for Thee that may come to my hand this year. Give me an increase of faith and hope and charity, a new strength against myself and all that bars my way to Thee or hinders our closer union. Be more and more to me as the year goes on. O Lord, increase my Faith. Let Thy Real Presence on the altar be an ever-growing reality to me. Draw me oftener to kneel before Thee, O great High Priest, as Thou offerest Thy Morning Sacrifice; as Thou spreadest Thy hands to us in the evening Benediction; as Thou callest us to the Communion rails for our daily Bread. Let me face courageously the difficulties and trials the year may bring, and behave in them as the spirit of faith dictates. And strengthen my Hope. Let my trust in Thee grow day by day till it comes to be the instinct of my soul that no chance nor trouble can disturb. Above all, increase my love by a frequent lifting of my heart to Thee through the busy hours of the day; by the offering to Thy glory and service of all I think, and do, and suffer; by a more docile following o f Thy guidance, a greater readiness for self-sacrifice, a gradual lessening of the self-seeking that taints all my work for Thee. I offer to Thee by a new oblation all I have and am, as a possession to be Thine more and more fully as the months go by. This is my New Year's gift to Thee. Thine to me, dear Lord, is Thyself. More than this is not in Thy power to give. More I do not ask till in the New Year of Eternity Thou showest Thyself to me face to face.
Source: With the Church, Volume 1: Advent to Ascension by Mother Mary Loyola, Imprimatur 1924