- Cardinal Manning
O dear brethren, anticipate the day of Judgment. Be beforehand with it. That day is coming as the rising of tomorrow's sun. The day is not far off when the Great White Throne will be set up, and we shall stand before Him; and the eyes that are as a flame of fire, will search us through and through ; and not His eyes alone, but the eyes of all men will be upon us ! and the ears of men will hear that which the accuser will say against us in that day. There will be no secrecy there; no hiding of our sins, nothing concealed from God, or from that multitude which is around the Great White Throne. What does He require of you now? The Great White Throne is veiled in His mercy. In the holy Sacrament of Penance He sits as the Judge, not arrayed in the splendors which will dazzle and blind us at the Last Day, but as the Good Shepherd, and as the Good Physician, the Friend of Sinners, who is come not to call the just, but sinners, to repentance. There He sits in His mercy. Come to Him then, one by one. Be beforehand with the Day of Judgment. That which you confess now will be blotted out and forgiven in that day. That which you hide now will be in the book of God’s remembrance, laid up for a record in the day of the great assize. It is not much that He requires of us to come and tell it in the ear of one man in His stead—If it be painful to you, if shame cover your face, offer up the pain and the shame as a part of the penance, as Mary Magdalene in the midst of that great banquet. It is precisely for this purpose that the salutary pain may be the medicine of our pride. Dear brethren, then, be beforehand with the Day of Judgment, while the day of grace lasts ; and come to Him as you are.
- Cardinal Manning
Holy Mother Church
dedicates the month of December to the Nativity of Our Lord
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