Ruth and Naomi gleaning in the field of Boaz
The Book of Ruth 16 And therefore let us humble our souls before him, and continuing in an humble spirit, in his service: 17 Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us: that as our heart is troubled by their pride, so also we may glorify in our humility. 18 For we have not followed the sins of our fathers, who forsook their God, and worshipped strange gods. 19 For which crime they were given up to their enemies, to the sword, and to pillage, and to confusion: but we know no other God but him. 20 Let us humbly wait for his consolation, and the Lord our God will require our blood of the afflictions of our enemies, and he will humble all the nations that shall rise up against us, and bring them to disgrace.
I know most Christians focus alot on the New Testament, as I suppose we ought...but...I have to say although I love the NT, I have a special love and reverence for the Old Testament. Lately I've been getting "lost" in the books of Kings - I could read of the lives of King David and King Solomon and oh the sad sad fall of King Saul. This story brings tears to my eyes every time I read it. Oh how easy it is to fall! To have the annointing of the Lord, to have the counsel of the Prophet Samuel, and then to turn to idolotry! What folly! Oh poor Saul! Yesterday I read the following passage:
2 Kings 7:15 But my mercy I will not take away from him [King David], as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before my face.
When I read this passage, it appears there is little reason to hope for the soul of Saul, but I pray perhaps in that brief moment before his soul left his body he turned toward the Lord's mercy! There is no greater tragedy than the soul lost forever to the fires of hell.
But I digress...
I wanted instead to say how much I love the OT and in particular the books of Tobit and Ruth - as quoted at the top of this post. When I read thie above passage, it seemed as if this addresses the very time in which we live. Though the entire world clamors in diabolical hatred toward the Holy Catholic Church, though the press, world leaders and the wicked within the Church persecute the Holy Father, though our Christian life be assailed on all sides - we MUST be steadfast! Be still and hope in the Lord, though the darkness is all around - rejoice and know that He is with us! Be not attached to the Lord's sweetness and consolation - be not attached to the trappings and trifles of this world! Look for all your reward in Heaven where He who is Holy will wipe every tear from your eye and you will suffer no more! Rejoice!
"Death but not sin!"
-St. Dominic Savio, age 7 from his writings in preparation for first Holy Communion