The grace of God makes the yoke of virtue easy, light, and pleasant

October 16, 2021 • 2 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 284

Reflect on these truths, and you will soon understand the Scriptures where they seem to speak in contradictory terms of the ease or difficulty of practising virtue.

At one time David says: “For the sake of the words of Thy lips I have kept hard ways.” [Ps. xvi. 4.] At another: “I have been delighted in the way of Thy testimonies, as in all riches.” [Ps. cxviii. 14.]

Both declarations are true, for the path of virtue is difficult to nature, easy to grace. Our Saviour Himself tells us this when He says: “My yoke is sweet and My burden light.” [St. Matt. xi. 30.]

By the word yoke He expresses the difficulty which nature experiences. By calling it sweet He shows us the power of grace to enable us to carry it. This He accomplishes by sharing our burden, according to that of the prophet: “I will be to them as one that taketh off the yoke from their jaws.” [Osee xi. 4.]

Is it, then, astonishing that that yoke is light which God Himself bears? The Apostle experienced this when he said: “In all things we suffer tribulation, but are not distressed; we are straitened, but are not destitute; we suffer persecution, but are not forsaken; we are cast down, but we perish not.” [2 Cor. iv. 8, 9.]

Behold on one side the weight of tribulation and on the other the sweetness which God communicates to it.

Isaias expressed this even more clearly: “They that hope in the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall take wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” [Isaias xl. 31.]

Learn from this that the yoke is removed by grace, and the strength of the flesh is changed into that of the spirit, or rather the strength of God replaces that of man.

Remember also that the prophet says the just will run, though taking no pains; they will walk, and not faint.

Be not dismayed, therefore, by the roughness of a road on which you find so many aids to render your journey smooth and pleasant.

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