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The Doctrine of Jesus

March 6, 2016 by  
Filed under Carmelite Spirituality, Dan Burke, Divine Intimacy, Lent

The Doctrine of Jesus

(Fourth Sunday of Lent)

Presence of God – Behold me at Your feet, O Lord, that I may hear Your doctrine, the doctrine of eternal life.

MEDITATION

The truths Jesus taught are so important and essential that, to know them or not, to believe them or not, is a matter of life or of death. His doctrine is not optional; rather, it is so essential that we cannot attain eternal life without it. “Whosoever believeth in Him … may have life everlasting…. but he that doth not believe is already judged: because he believeth not in the Name of the only-begotten Son of God” (John 3:16,18). Compared to the truths taught by Jesus, all others are insufficient.

Because the doctrine of Jesus is absolutely indispensable, He proved its truth by miracles in order to help our weak faith to adhere to it. To the blindly obstinate Jews who refused to believe in Him, He said, “The works which the Father hath given Me to perfect; the works themselves which I do, give testimony of Me” (John 5:36). When the disciples of John the Baptist asked Him if He were the Messiah in whom they were to believe, He answered simply, “Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again” (Matthew 11:4,5). The Gospel almost always concludes a recital of the wonders performed by Jesus with such words as: “and His disciples believed in Him” (John 2:11); “All wondered and glorified God” (Mark 2:12). Jesus is the only Teacher who can guarantee with miracles the truth of His doctrine.

COLLOQUY

“O Lord, my God, Thou hast indeed the words of life, wherein, if we will seek it, we mortals shall all find what we desire. But what wonder is it, my God, that we should forget Thy words, when our evil deeds have made us so infirm and foolish?… What is this, Lord?… How blind of us to seek repose where it cannot possibly be found!… Reflect that we do not understand for "The Doctrine of Jesus" postourselves, or know what we desire, nor are we able to ask as we should. Give us light, Lord. Behold, we need it more than the man who was blind from his birth, for he wished to see the light and could not, whereas nowadays, Lord, no one wishes to see it.

“You alone, O Lord, teach us truth and show us the way of salvation. O unhappy are we, for well do we know and believe these truths, yet our inveterate habit of not reflecting upon them makes them so strange to our souls that we neither know them nor seek to know them.

“Grant, then, Lord, that Your words may never be absent from my thoughts” (Teresa of Jesus, Exclamations of the Soul to God, 8-13).

O Jesus, do not permit me to allow myself to be attracted by maxims and doctrines which do not come from You.

What will it profit me to possess every kind of knowledge, if I do not know You, O Lord, and the truths which You came to teach us? Do not permit me, O Jesus, to be content with superficial knowledge, but give me the light and the intelligence I need to penetrate the profound meaning of Your teachings. Your words will not be made clear by reasoning and eager studying, but by humility, love, and an ardent desire to possess You. Create in me, O Lord, a heart that is upright, humble, sincere, and able to love and understand the meaning of Your divine words.

O my dear Master, I lay open my soul before You, as I would expose a piece of linen to the rays of the sun. I kneel before the tabernacle, knowing that I shall learn much more from You in prayer and recollection than in perusing learned books. But, O Lord, I shall never leave Your book, the Gospel: “I find in it all that my poor soul needs, and I am always discovering there new lights and hidden, mysterious meanings” (Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Story of a Soul, 8).

O Lord, grant that I may understand the words of Your Gospel, and I shall be sufficiently wise.

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Note from Dan: This post on “The Doctrine of Jesus” is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.

Art: Modified Guarigione del cieco nato (Healing of the man born blind), Orazio de Ferrari (1606-1657), undated, PD-US author's life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of SpiritualDirection.com, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • Philip George Regan

    Thank-you Dan – a wonderful article – reading this makes me Thirst for the Word of the Lord – what a great gift is the Gospel !

  • Judy Silhan

    Dear Dan, are there different Divine Intimacy books? The reflection here, I was not able to find. for the 4th Sunday of Lent, I read your reflection and realized it was not what I had read for today. In the book I have, the reflection is on the Multiplication of the Loaves. Can you please clarify. To my dismay, I searched for this reflection and did not find it.

    That being said, in reflecting on your post from Divine Intimacy, I very much see the truth of his words: “Give us light, Lord. Behold, we need it more than the man who was blind from his birth, for he wished to see the light and could not, whereas nowadays, Lord, no one wishes to see it. Sadly, this is so true today, even among many Catholics.

    • Desert Sun Art

      I noticed the same thing. I found The Doctrine of Jesus earlier in the book, it is Chapter 50 or 51. Dan, was this an error or was there a reason you chose this reading instead of the one for the 4th Sunday of Lent?

      • LizEst

        “The Doctrine of Jesus” was chosen because the meditation given did not match the readings on the Church’s calendar for this year. “Divine
        Intimacy” was published before the revision of the current Church
        calendar, when the readings were the same year after year. Today, the
        readings rotate between the three synoptic gospels (Years A, B, or C
        respectively) during Lent, or there are specific readings for Masses
        with catechumens. We have to make a judgment call when there is a conflict like this (and there is variance is the calendar). We opted to go for what was more favorable for the majority of our readers, who would have been even more confused by the particular meditation given in the “Divine Intimacy” book. That and Father Bartunek always covers the coming Sunday’s Gospel reading in his Wednesday meditation post from “The Better Part” prior to the coming Sunday.

        • Desert Sun Art

          Thank you for the explanation. God Bless.

    • LizEst

      “The Doctrine of Jesus” was chosen because the meditation given did not match the readings on the Church’s calendar for this year. “Divine
      Intimacy” was published before the revision of the current Church
      calendar, when the readings were the same year after year. Today, the
      readings rotate between the three synoptic gospels (Years A, B, or C
      respectively) during Lent, or there are specific readings for Masses
      with catechumens. We have to make a judgment call when there is a conflict like this (and there is variance is the calendar). We opted to go for what was more favorable for the majority of our readers, who would have been even more confused by the particular meditation given in the “Divine Intimacy” book. That and Father Bartunek always covers the coming Sunday’s Gospel reading in his Wednesday meditation post from “The Better Part” prior to the coming Sunday.

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