MEDITATION ON THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN: Of Him That Fell Into The Hands Of Thieves POINT I By Venerable Luis de la Puente
Parable of the Good Samaritan
Of him that fell into the hands of thieves, and was succoured by the Samaritan.
THE I POINT.
A Lawgiver demanding of Christ our Lord, who was his neighbor, that he might love him as himself, he answered him with this insuring parable, discovering therein, the great compassion which he taketh of sinners, saying. A certain man went down from Jerusalem, to Jericho , and fell into the hands of thieves, who spoiled him, and having given him many wounds, went away leaving him half dead. Upon this point is to be considered, who this man is: who these thieves are: of what goods they robbed him: what wounds they give him: and how they leave him half alive, and half dead.
1. First this man, is, one of the sons of earthly Adam, who after the imitation of his Father, being in the grace, and friendship of almighty God, assigned for an heir of the City of the Celestial Jerusalem, falleth from this estate, inclining to the goods of this miserable, and mutable world. Figured by Jericho, which signifieth the moon. The original of this fall, or descending is, to have addicted himself to the things of this world, with some disorder, and to apply himself disordantly to the affairs of the earth.
2. Against this man the devils, go forth in the way. Which are thieves, robbers, and our enemies, who with their temptations, and wicked suggestions, sometimes openly, sometimes by treason, and treachery, pretend to destroy us. To this effect they serve themselves of our visible enemies, which are the world, and the flesh, to wit, of the wicked which live in the world, and of the passions of our flesh. And he is said to fall into their hands, who miserably consenteth to their persuasions, and admitteth that sin, which we call mortal.
3. The goods, which they rob from this miserable man, are the grace of almighty God, the seven gifts of the holy Ghost, charity, with the virtues infused, which continually accompany it; and in particular, some they rob of chastity, other of humility, others of patience, others of temperance, others of obedience, and the like: and sometimes they rob even of faith it self, precipitating sinners into infidelity: they also rob of hope, causing sinners to fall into desperation for all they seek is to rob us and to destroy all, which we hold of God, saying that of the Psalm. Raze it, to the rooting up of the foundation thereof.
4. The stabs, and wounds, which they do give him, are the damages, which they leave in our powers the ignorance of the understanding darkened with the clouds of errors; the weakening of our free will, feeble to resist vice: the fury of disordinante appetites, and passions, inclined to that which is earthly, every one receiving so many wounds, as he hath ignorance, passions, and perverse inclinations.
5. After this manner, this miserable man, is left half dead, for that there remaineth in him only the light of faith, or the light of natural reason: he is left also half dead, because he is in danger to die eternally.
6. Considering all this, I will imagine myself to be the miserable man, of whom this parable speaketh, lamenting my misfortune. I am he who have been careless, in conserving the grace, which God hath given me in holy Baptism, inclining myself to the delights of this present life. I am he who am fallen into the hands of the devils mine enemies. Mine the fault to fall into them, for had I resisted, they had fled from me, and had I called upon God, & the Angels for help, they would have hastened, to have holpen me: for as full is the way, of Angels who keep is, as of devils who tempt us, and as the Prophet Elizeus said. More are with me, then against me.
O wretch that I am, for having suffered myself to be robbed, by these thieves, when I might have defended myself against them. Woe is me, for having lost the grace of almighty God, and his celestial gifts. O what stabs, and wounds have I received in my soul, for from the sole of the foot, to the crown of the head, there is no part whole in me. There is no power of sense in me, which hath not his particular wound & perverse inclination: and although they have left me a little life, yet am I much more dead, then I am alive, and in danger to die, wholly forever. O eternal God, behold ( I beseech thee) this miserable man with the eyes of mercy, and vouchsafe to succor him with thy grace, before he come to die this miserable death.
Venerable Luis de la Puente