Fr. C. C. Martindale, S
WE are all familiar with the
prayer: "Eternal rest grant unto them, 0 Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them." Here are two ideas that the Church wishes us to associate with "heaven"
In Mt: 11: 28. 29 we read those infinitely precious words of Our Lord: "Come unto Me, and I will give you rest. . . you shall find rest for your souls", but they do not refer specifically to heaven, and they do refer to that personal contact with Him of which we hope to write later.
side of the child's persona is virtually a repudiation of God's plan for men created with an imaginative and emotional side which possesses such potentialities and yet can so easily get distorted. Indeed, though logical reasoning is vital, the act of religion springs from powers of man above as well as below mere reason and logic. I have not left myself space to deal with the remarkable experience of Ruth Lewis in a London Catholic secondary modern school, based on eight years of teaching art to boys and girls, but I hope that this will lead many to get a copy of this fascinating pamphlet. I will only quote one sentence: "One cannot stress sufficiently the amazing fact that where children have found an interest in art, backwardness has diminished—in many cases almost incredibly so." The illustrations are very striking, perhaps the best being the drawing of the Madonna (Howard Bond, 14) which is on the cover, but I select "The Forsaken Merman " by Benedict Kaye (15) which. with a little more organisation and selection, would get near a Christopher Wood. But in the Epistle to the Hebrews c. 4, the words of Ps. 94:11, which allude primarily to the journeying of the Israelites towarUs their rest in the Promised Land (be careful to note that " Jesus" in verse 8 of Hebr. 4:8 is a Greek form of "Josue " who in fact led them into Palestine), are applied to the destiny of the Christian. " There remaineth a rest for the People of God": " Let us therefore labour to enter into that rest" (verses 10, II).
But to want "rest" implies being tired first. Presumably those who are fairly strong and young would resent the idea of dying if it were offered them simply as "rest"; they would feel they were still able to do something first, and wanted to.
They would be right to this extent, that we are meant to " work ", and unselfish work done for Christ's sake turns the curse of Genesis (3:17-19) into a privilege.
"I must work," says Our Lord (Jn. 9:4), "the works of Him who sent Mc while it is day; the night is coming when no man can work ".
There are good reasons why a man should wish to work and ask to live to do so—to win security, for his family; to be a charge to no one when he is old—a hundred reasons will occur to you; but we hope that we shall not work only that minimum that site must and profit by "shorter hours" only for extra entertainment.
But even if we work as hard as we can and arrive before God very tired, we shall never have " finished" the work we would have liked to do for Him; He will accept our poor ragged stuff and give us a sweeter rest than ever we "desired or deserved."