Serm., 69, 1: Whence do we all thus labour, but that we are mortal men, bearing vessels of clay which cause us much difficulty. But if the vessels of flesh are straitened, the regions of love will be enlarged. To what end then does He say, "Come unto me,” all ye that labour, but that ye should not labour?.
Serm., 69, 1: Not to create a world, or to do miracles in that world; but that "I am meek and lowly in heart.” Wouldest thou be great? Begin with the least.Wouldest thou build up a mighty fabric of greatness? First think of the foundation of humility; for the mightier building any seeks to raise, the deeper let him dig for his foundation. Whither is the summit of our building torise? To the sight of God.
Therefore let everyone who wants life and desires to see good days put down the yoke of iniquity and malice. The prophet says, “Let us burst their bonds and thrust their yoke from us.” For unless one throws behind the yoke of iniquity, that is, the spark of all vices, one cannot take up the agreeable and light yoke of Christ. But if the yoke of Christ is so agreeable and light, how is it that divine religion seems so harsh and bitter to some people? It is bitter to some because the heart that has been tainted by earthly desires cannot love heavenly things. It has not yet come to Christ, so that it can take up his yoke and learn that he is gentle and humble of heart. Hence we observe, my dearest friends, from the teaching of our Lord, that unless a person is gentle and humble of heart, he or she cannot bear the yoke of Christ.
For my yoke is sweet For though, in regard of our weak nature, it be a very heavy yoke, yet the grace of God renders it easy and light, because our Lord himself helps us to bear it, according to that of the prophet Osee, (Chap. xi, ver. 4) I will be unto them as he that takes the yoke from off their heads. St. Bernard says, that our Saviour sweetens by the spiritual unction of his grace, all the crosses, penances, and mortifications of religious souls. St. Augustine owns, that before he knew the power of grace, he could never comprehend what chastity was, nor believe that any one was able to practice it; but the grace of God renders all things easy. (Rodriguez, On Mortification. Chap. xix.)
For a cruel yoke and hard weight of servitude it is to be subject to the things of time, to be ambitious of the things of earth, to cling to falling things, to seek to stand in things that stand not, to desire things that pass away, but tobe unwilling to pass away with them. For while all things fly away against our wish, those things which had first harassed the mind in desire of gaining them, now oppress it with fear of losing them.
Mor., iv, 33: What burden is it to put upon the neck of our mind that He bids us shun all desire that disturbs, and turn from the toilsome paths of this world!
He calls to Him those that were labouring under the hardships of the Law, and those who are burdened with the sins of this world.
He holds forth the inducements of a pleasant yoke, and a light burden, that to the m that believe He may afford the knowledge of that good which He aloneknoweth in the Father.
And what is more pleasant than that yoke, what lighter than that burden? To bemade better, to abstain from wickedness, to choose the good, and refuse the evil, to love all men, to hate none, to gain eternal things, not to be taken with things present, to be unwilling to do that to another which yourself wouldbe pained to suffer.
Even before the things to come, He gives you here your recompense, and bestows the prize already, making the saying acceptable, both hereby, and by setting Himself forward as an example. For, Of what are you afraid? says He, lest you should be a loser by your low estate? Look to me, and to all that is mine; learn of me, and then shall you know distinctly how great your blessing. Do you see how in all ways He is leading them to humility? By His own doings: Learn of me, for I am meek. By what themselves are to gain; for, You shall find, says He, rest unto your souls. By what He bestows on them; for, I too will refresh you, says He. By rendering it light; For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. So likewise does Paul, saying, For the present light affliction, which is but for a moment, works a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 2 Corinthians 4:17
And how, some one may say, is the burden light, when He says, Except one hate father and mother; and, Whosoever takes not up...
If then He reveals the Father, He reveals Himself also. But the one he omits as a thing manifest, but mentions the other because there might be a doubt concerning it.Herein also He instructs us that He is soone with the Father, that it is not possible for any to come to the Father, but through the Son. For this had above all things given offence, that He seemed tobe against God, and therefore He strove by all means to overthrow this notion.
By what He had said, He brought His disciples to have a desire towards Him, hewing them His unspeakable excellence; and now He invites them to Him, saying, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden.”.
He said not, Come ye, this man and that man, but All whosoever are in trouble, in sorrow, or in sin, not that I may exact punishment of you, but that I may remit your sins. Come ye, not that I have need of your glory, but that I seek your salvation. “And I will refresh you;” not, I will save you, only; but that is much greater, “I will refr...
I will not only take from you your burden, but will satisfy you with inward refreshment.
We must learn then from our Saviour to be meek in temper, and lowly in mind; let us hurt none, let us despise none, and the virtues which we have shown indeed let us retain in our heart.
But how is Christ’s yoke pleasant, seeing it was said above, “Narrow is the way which leadeth unto life?” That which is entered upon by a narrow entrance is in process of time made broad by the unspeakable sweetness of love. But the Holy Spirit was there who, as the outward man decayed, renewed the inward man day by day, and giving a foretaste of spiritual rest in the rich pleasures of God in the hope of blessedness to come, smoothed all that seemed rough, lightened all that was heavy. Men suffer amputations and burnings, that at the price of sharper pain they may be delivered from torments less but more lasting, as boils or swellinga.What storms and dangers will not merchants undergo that they may acquire perishin...
“Come,” He says, not with the feet, but with the life, not in the body, but in faith. For that is a spiritual approach by which any man approaches God; and therefore it follows, “Take my yoke upon you.”
. The yoke of Christ is humility and meekness. For he who humbles himself before all men has rest and remains untroubled; but he who is vainglorious and arrogant is ever encompassed by troubles as he does not wish to be less than anyone but is always thinking how to be esteemed more highly and how to defeat his enemies. Therefore the yoke of Christ, which is humility, is light, for it is easier for our lowly nature to be humbled than to be exalted. But all the commandments of Christ are also called a yoke, and they are light because of the reward to come, even though for a time they appear heavy.