Panegyric (Praise) of Saint Philip Neri

Panegyric (Praise) of Saint Philip Neri


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Sermon from Cardinal Wiseman on St Philip Neri.


Psalm 118:23

"Viam mandatorum tuorum cucurricum dilatasti cor meum."

"I have run the way of Thy commandments, when Thou didst enlarge my heart."

If we saw a man running with the greatest speed and anxiety along a steep and arduous path, we should naturally expect to find his eyes intently fixed, his countenance flushed and glowing, his limbs, and his whole frame, convulsed and quivering. And we should well know that all these visible and exterior symptoms were only indicative of one which we could not, indeed, behold: we should know that his heart was beating and throbbing, that it felt to him as though it were seeking to burst through the very walls of its prison, against which it was beating, heavy and distinct. And when at length he rested in his flight, were it from the influence of fear or the eagerness of hope, we should not perhaps see him seek to repose his weary limbs by casting himself down, but we should see him press his hands upon his bosom, as if to check and compose the panting of his swelling heart, and to confine it within its ordinary limits. It is the same in the world of grace, which bears such analogy to that of nature. He who runs in the way of God's commandments may, like David speak the words of my text, "Viam mandatorum tuorum cucurricum dilatasti cor meum," "I have run the way of Thy commandments, when Thou didst enlarge my heart."-but he will check himself, and since "non volentis, neque currentis, sed miserentis est Dei," "it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God alone who gives mercy"-he will say "cum dilatasti cor meum," "when Thou hast enlarged my heart." I have run to the best of my power along the way of Thy commandments, but it is Thou alone who hast enlarged my heart. If this could have been, at any period, and in any part of the Church, the language of a Saint, in none surely has it been more simply, more completely and more literally fulfilled, than in the Saint of this day, the Saint to whom the Church especially applies these words: the Saint who of all others, addressing God, could have said at the end of his life, "I have run the way of Thy commandments, for Thou hast enlarged my heart." The Blessed Saint Philip could have spoken those words, and no doubt often did speak them, in the fervour of his love, his gratitude and his praise; especially in that last hour of his life, when he looked up smiling to Heaven, and rendered back to God, not only the soul, which had already tasted the joys of Heaven, but the heart, that had gone before him, overflowing beyond the ordinary measure with grace and with love. Then let us see this day how these words could be applied to him; how they give us the key to the peculiar character of holiness with which God was pleased to adorn him.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781718728349
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 05/04/2018
Pages: 86
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.21(d)

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