The Pearl of Great Price is more than worth seeking

November 30, 2021 • 4 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 234
By Venerable Louis of Granada

Behold, then, dear Christian, the twelve fruits of virtue in this life. They are like the twelve fruits of the tree of life seen by St. John in his prophetic vision. [Apoc. xxii. 2.]

This tree represents Jesus Christ, and is also a symbol of virtue with its abundant fruits of holiness and life. And what fruits can be compared to those which we have been considering?

What is there more consoling than the fatherly care with which God surrounds the just? What blessings equal those of divine grace, of heavenly wisdom, of the consolations of the Holy Spirit, of the testimony of a good conscience, of invincible hope, of unfailing efficacy in prayer, and of that peaceful and happy death with which the just man’s life is crowned?

But one of these fruits, rightly known and appreciated, should suffice to make us embrace virtue.

Think not that you will ever regret any labor or any sacrifice made in pursuit of so great a good.

The wicked do not strive to attain it, for they know not its value. To them the kingdom of Heaven is like a hidden treasure. [St. Matt. xiii. 44.]

And yet it is only through the divine light and the practice of virtue that they will learn its beauty and worth. Seek, therefore, this light, and you will find the pearl of great price.

Do not leave the source of eternal life to drink at the turbid streams of the world. Follow the counsel of the prophet, and taste and see that the Lord is sweet.

Trusting in our Saviour’s words, resolutely enter the path of virtue, and your illusions will vanish.

The serpent into which the rod of Moses was converted was frightful at a distance, but at the touch of his hand it became again a harmless rod.

To the wicked virtue wears a forbidding look; to sacrifice their worldly pleasures for her would be to buy her at too dear a rate.

But when they draw near they see how lovely she is, and when they have once tasted the sweetness she possesses they cheerfully surrender all they have to win her friendship and love.

How gladly did the man in the Gospel hasten to sell all he had to purchase the field which contained a treasure!

Why, then, do Christians make so little effort to obtain this inestimable good? If a companion assured you that a treasure lay hidden in your house you would not fail to search for it, even though you doubted its existence. Yet though you know, on the infallible word of God, that you can find a priceless treasure within your own breast, you do nothing to discover it.

Oh! that you would realize its value! Would that you knew how little it costs to obtain it, and how “nigh is the Lord unto all them that call upon Him, that call upon Him in truth”! [Ps. cxiiv. 18.]

Be mindful of the prodigal, of so many others who have returned from sin and error, to find, instead of an angry Judge, a loving Father awaiting them.

Do penance, therefore, for your sins, and God will no longer remember your iniquities. [Ezech. xviii. 21, 22.]

Return to your loving Father; rise with the dawn and knock at the gates of His mercy; humbly persevere in your entreaties, and He will not fail to reveal to you the treasure of His love.

Having once experienced the sweetness which it contains, you will say with the spouse in the Canticle: “If a man should give all the substance of his house for love, he shall despise it as nothing.” [Cant. viii. 7.]

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