Monday, March 21, 2011
Leaving the past for the present
Scarcity of Biographical Data
No scrupulous modern biographer would attempt to write a biography of Jesus on the basis of the scarce data the Bible gives about Him. Even about Jesus’ earthly life we know next to nothing. Thirty years are passed over with silence. This is to show us that God keeps files on no one.
Job says, “What is man...that You should test him every moment?” (Job 7:17, 18). What a man is in the present moment is what counts. What he has been before can be erased by the grace of God. Never hold past sins against a man, rather hold a man against his past sins.
George Muller, the British philanthropist, founder of many orphanages and renowned as a man of prayer, was in prison for theft in his youth. So was Skrefsrud, the renowned Norwegian missionary to the Santals in India.
St. Vincent de Paul was ordained at the age of 19 although the Council of Trent had fixed 30 as the minimum age. He was silent all his mature life about his invalid ordination and about an adventurous escape from slavery that had occurred only in his imagination. He was also silent about the fact that in his youth he had sought parishes with the fattest incomes.
What does an ugly past count, when God sees a beautiful present?