33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

He will gather His elect from the four winds


Fr. R.H. J. Steuart, S.J. (1874-1948) of southeastern England, was ordained a priest of the Society of Jesus in September, 1907.  Among Fr. Steuart’s many services to the Church—pastor, retreat master, WWI chaplain—was his skill as a writer on the spiritual life.

An excerpt from Fr. Steuart’s Inward Vision (1929):


“God's judgment of me will be the truth about me: and the measure of the truth about me will be the measure of the good that is found in me: and not until the Judgment, when I shall know ‘even as I am known,’ shall I know what that is (1 Cor 13:12).  But in the meantime I have warrant for it that I shall know my Judge the better the more I think of Him as my Advocate.  It was by no accident that the last that was seen of Him alive upon earth was as set in a wide gesture of invitation with arms stretched out, and nailed out, to be remembered like that forever.

“There follows therefore, one possible conclusion only . . . that He is not looking for the evil in me but for the good; and that if it terrifies me to think that in that hour I shall find myself to be so much worse than ever I thought, it should comfort me by a far better title to think instead how much better, perhaps, I shall find myself to have been as ever I had dared to imagine.  For I shall see myself then as God sees me—that is, I shall look at myself in the manner that God looks at me, in a light enkindled of His love of me which will throw first into the foreground all that love desires to see in me, my good, His good, Himself.

“I shall make far less mistake about it and run far less risk of affecting the true balance of my vision of the Judge if I think of Him as delving, so to say, into my life in eager search of whatever He can commend and reward, be it ever so little gold among a very great deal of dross. He will judge me by the best that is in me:  that will be my “index.” The best ideal and the sincerest effort, so long as they were really mine, and even if to my seeing they produced very little, will be what will identify me in His sight.

“We make a far more just estimate of a man's worth from the good that we see in him than from the faults, even the habitual faults, of which we find him to be guilty; indeed it is for this reason that charity (like any other supernatural virtue) reduces in the last resort to truth.”