The voice of Jesus—Learn of Me because I am meek and humble of Heart; and ye shall find rest for your souls.
The voice of the Disciple—These are the words of Jesus Christ, whereby we are commanded to learn and imitate the Virtues of His Heart, that we may be set free from all misery of soul, and be made truly happy. This is His doctrine, this is the method of learning, this is the fruit, this is the end.
The first inducement to learn is the excellence of the Master. What is there more excellent than the Son of God, who alone is our Master, appointed by His eternal Father, in whom also are all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God?
His doctrine is the truth, surpassing all the arts and sciences of this world: it smooths the way not to some perishable wealth, some passing pleasures, or a short-lived renown: but to boundless riches, that cease not to last, to unuttered delights, that are constant, to honors supreme, that endure forever.
Whatever He taught us to do, He reduced to one lesson: Learn of Me because I am meek and humble of Heart: this He adapted to all men, this He gives to all, that all may learn the same, the little as well as the great; knowing full well that in this precept, if rightly understood and kept, are contained all things necessary.
His whole life was the application of this doctrine, which He began to practice, before He taught it to others.
Let us learn this short lesson, and we shall be wise enough, and sufficiently instructed; nor shall we have to look for an thing more. The method of learning consists in action, which is performed in two ways: by studying and by practicing.
But first, in order to understand what we strive to learn, and reduce to practice what we have understood, we must pray earnestly. Afterwards, we must diligently revolve in our mind the depth, the height, the breadth of the lesson; keeping unceasingly before our eyes the divine likeness of our Master, and examining what we ought to amend, what to avoid, what to hold, and to what to aspire. Lastly, since it is not enough to know, but we must also practice, the lesson, as it wholly consists in action, and can only be perfectly learnt by acting; we must, as soon as we begin to learn, also begin to practice, showing ourselves before God and men, meek and humble of heart in thought, word and deed.
And, whilst we progress in understanding and practice, we should so labor that the spirit of the lesson unfold itself ever more perfectly in the plan of our life, in our inmost feelings, in our conversations, in our every action, yea, in the very modifications of the same.
If, after this manner, we learn what Our Lord has given us to learn, we shall reap the fruit, whereby our zeal and toil shall most certainly be rewarded, according to the promise of Him who cannot possibly deceive nor be deceived. Which is that promised fruit? Of all—the most desirable. Ye shall find rest, says He. And what is it, to find rest?
This article is taken from a chapter in The Imitation of the Sacred Heart by Fr. Peter J. Arnoudt, SJ , which is available from TAN Books.