Virtue is not practiced because people think it’s difficult, but don’t know its secret beauty and hidden value

December 17, 2021 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 123
By Venerable Louis of Granada

To destroy this serious error I know nothing better than the touching words of our Saviour weeping over Jerusalem: “If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are for thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy eyes.” [St. Luke xix. 42.]

Our Divine Lord considered the advantages which this people had received from Him; the happiness He had reserved for them; and the ingratitude with which they rejected Him when He came to them in meekness and humility.

For this they were to lose not only the treasures and graces of His coming, but even their temporal power and freedom. This it was which caused Him to shed such bitter tears and to foretell the unhappy fate that was in store for His people.

His words apply with great force to our present subject. Consider the inestimable riches, the abundant graces, which accompany virtue; yet it is a stranger, a wanderer on earth. Men seem to be blind to these divine blessings.

Have we not, therefore, reason to weep and to cry out: O man, if thou also hadst known? If thou hadst known the peace, the light, the strength, the sweetness, and the riches of virtue, thou wouldst have opened thy heart to it, thou wouldst have spared no sacrifice to win it.

But these blessings are hidden from worldlings, who regard only the humble exterior of virtue, and, having never experienced its unutterable sweetness, they conclude that it contains nothing but what is sad and repulsive.

They know not that Christian philosophy is like its Divine Founder, who, though exteriorly the humblest of men, was nevertheless God and sovereign Lord of all things.

Hence the Apostle tells the faithful that they are dead to the world, that “their life is hid with Christ in God.” [Coloss. iii. 3.] Just as the glory of Christ was hidden by the veil of His humanity, so should the glory of His faithful followers be concealed in this world.

We read that the ancients made certain images, called Silenes, which were rough and coarse exteriorly, but most curiously and ingeniously wrought within. The ignorant stopped at the exterior and saw nothing to prize, but those who understood their construction looked within and were captivated by the beauty they there beheld.

Such have been the lives of the Prophets, the Apostles, and all true Christians, for such was the life of their Divine Model.

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