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Table of contents
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- Path of Penitence | White Wolf | FANDOM powered by Wikia
- Path of Penitence
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- Concerning Repentance (Book II)
Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoe's autistic sister. After Zoe is convinced he's legit, angel and lost girl come together in a love that changes destiny. But Heaven on Earth can't last forever. Paperback , pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Heavenly , please sign up. See 1 question about Heavenly…. Lists with This Book. Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens has been a book I have eagerly been anticipating to read.
I had read several wonderful reviews. Let me tell you Jennifer Larens did not disappoint with Heavenly, this book exceeded my expectations. I was able to connect with each character as a parent, as a child and as parent of a kiddo who has some special needs. Zoe, the main character of this book and narrator, is an amazing young woman.
Her character was so well written and drew me in from the start. It was lovely to see how much she changed from the beginning of the book to the end. The way she cared for her family and those in need stole me heart. She transformed from a party girl to a wonderful young woman, not that there is anything wrong with a party girl.
She was by far my favorite character and one I feel like I know so very well. As a parent I wanted to help take care of her needs. Abria is what made the book feel so real to me. There are so many families with an autistic child or special needs; this book is life, reality! As for the romance….. The relationship between Zoe and Matthias was sweet and pure. Oh do I love Matthias. He not only is beautiful he is such a gentleman and well for lack of a better word heaven sent.
I wish we all had a Matthias in our lives and well, who knows, we may just. It is a wonderful book and a page turner that flows seamlessly. I will warn you though… the end is a bit of a cliffhanger make certain you have the next book on hand before finishing. View all 32 comments. Mar 22, Mirrormarie rated it it was amazing.
This book blew my mind. I read it in one sitting, I was so enthralled. It captures so well the struggle of a family dealing with an autistic child, as well as teenagers who abuse drugs and alcohol. I speak from experience when I say that this novel described with perfect accuracy the struggles, heartache, and emotions a family like Zoe's would live through. Her relationship with Matthias is beautiful - fulfilling the need within all humans to be loved for who they are, even with all their flaws This book blew my mind.
Her relationship with Matthias is beautiful - fulfilling the need within all humans to be loved for who they are, even with all their flaws and shortcomings. The forbidden love aspect just adds a little spice to the romance - keeping me on the edge of my seat and often squeaking with teen-girl-ish delight throughout the entire experience. Also, for readers who are hesitant to embark on a literary journey involving angels - don't let that stop you for a second.
No matter one's beliefs, this story is timeless, and one that everyone, without exception, can relate to. It will lift you up and stick with you long after you've stopped devouring the pages at incredible speeds This is definitely my favorite book by Jennifer Laurens so far, and I can't wait for the story to continue. Mar 04, Rachel Wilkes rated it it was amazing. This book is amazing. I read it in a day and a half. This book has an amazing story, characters you won't forget and leaves you thinking about it.
This book is far from just fluff, so if that's what you're looking for, don't read it. All in all, five stars. The book didn't try too hard like so many This book is amazing. The book didn't try too hard like so many YA novels seem to, was real and you feel like you know Zoe and are equally in love with Matthias as she is by the end! Aug 09, Kathy rated it really liked it Shelves: Although classified as fantasy, Jennifer Lauren's version of "guardian angels" is a version I can believe actually exist.
See my full review: Dec 23, Darkfallen rated it liked it Shelves: First I wanna say a special thanks to Jennifer Laurens for giving my this copy for review. So like I said I have been wanting to read this for close to forever now, so I naturally wanted to love it. But in the beginning it was quite the opposite of love I was feeling. Zoe is a 18 yr old teenage girl whose little sister, Abria, is autistic. But in the beginning Zoe just came off First I wanna say a special thanks to Jennifer Laurens for giving my this copy for review. But in the beginning Zoe just came off as mean, and heartless when it came to her sister.
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The resentment Zoe felt for all the struggles that came along with living with Abria really grated with me. In fact I almost threw the book down and walked away I just couldn't do it. So I thought to myself With shear determination I decided that I was not giving up on this book. I was going to find out why so many people love this story. You are taken through a rough journey about a family that it falling apart. Due to the struggles and the strain of living with someone with autism they all start to unravel. Zoe turns to drinking, and hooking up with guys.
Luke, her 16 yr old brother, turns to smoking pot, and eventually selling Lortabs to supply his habit. All the while both of the parents seem to overlook their older children, grasping at straws, just praying for the strength to make it through another day. It isn't until Matthias, Abria's guardian angel, steps in the picture that things start to change.
Abria clams down from his touch, making everyone else's life that much easier, but Zoe can see Matthias when no one else can The relationship between Zoe and Matthias had me laughing out loud on more then one occasion. Zoe and her thoughts kept getting her in trouble. I also love the way Zoe kept trying to save her brother from the mistakes he was making once she got herself straightened out. I will say that this was a little to clean cut for me. I mean there is definitely some twists and turns you won't see coming and OMG the ending is fantastic in the most tragic way, but the way Zoe stops drinking and becomes the good girl, Luke stops smoking pot, gets a job, does his homework.
The way their parents actually start to take stock in their older children's lives and everyone just seems, all of a sudden, So Happy Together , seems a little forced to me. I just don't see it going down that way in the real world. This is very much one of those books that is sending the message Put your faith in God and everything will work out. So if that's your kind of thing I say go for it, you'll prolly love it! I'm just not one of those girls. But overall this was a good read, with the most awesome twist at the end Review copy provided by author Why I Read this Book: I just recently came across Heavenly after seeing it somewhere in the book blogging community.
I read the blurb and it appealed to me. I found the premise of an unattainable love with a guardian angel to be quite interesting. The author created real characters with real everyday situations, with the exception of guardian angels of course. Autism is not something that I am familiar with, however the author did a wonderful job sheddin Review copy provided by author Why I Read this Book: Autism is not something that I am familiar with, however the author did a wonderful job shedding some light on this difficult condition.
I like how Zoe was honest with her feelings in regards to Abria, her younger and autistic sister. Of course Zoe loves Abria but the reader also gets to witness the frustrations and overwhelming situations Zoe is put through time and time again. Zoe sees how stressful her younger sister can be on her parents so she tries to alleviate some of that stress by tending to Abria.
None of the characters in Heavenly are perfect; in fact, each has their own demons and addictions. I usually like it when a book starts off at a scene that takes place towards the end of the book and then takes the reader through the journey on how it got to that point. The first part of the first chapter felt out of place and left me confused. She gave her brother, Luke, a hard time about doing pot when there she was drowning her own misery with booze.
Zoe is in complete denial of being a alcoholic and sadly at the tender age of The last third of the book was when things started happening but the WOW moment for me, and it was quite the WOW moment, occurred in the last 10 pages. It really blew me away. If only the rest of the book had affected me that way. All the way up to page , this book was a 2 star rating for me. Those last 10 pages redeemed itself and ultimately got it a 3 Frog rating. That said, I will most likely pick up Penitence to see where things take Zoe. Jan 26, Lisa rated it it was amazing. I finished this book a few days ago and have been having trouble really putting my feelings about his book into writing.
I was so touched by this book. Each character felt so real, like I could meet them anywhere. I could feel how connected the author is to the story making it much more than just a story rather a movie unfolding before my eyes. Each person was so well defined, it was not like just the main people were defined but each and every person. When there was pain, I felt it like I was i I finished this book a few days ago and have been having trouble really putting my feelings about his book into writing.
When there was pain, I felt it like I was in the story.
- Penitence (Heavenly, #2) by Jennifer Laurens;
I enjoyed that way that the author build life to Matthias and let the read build their own assumptions and ideas. The plot was well thought out and believable. I see this happening in any house across the county. I really enjoyed the honesty in the book and it truly opened my eyes. No spoiler here but I am going to say that I never expected the ending. I also did not want this book to stop. I wanted to keep reading about this family and the challenges.
Please if you get the opportunity to read this book - DO IT! I am looking forward to reading the other books by Jennifer Laurens in the near future. Mar 11, J Joyce rated it it was amazing. The story, the language, the characters, are so real you really feel for all of them. Its kind of Twilight Done Right, if you ask me.
A forbidden love story with some REAL meat. Feb 11, fennie rated it liked it Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Apr 01, Pamela Todd rated it it was amazing Shelves: In an age where YA has become a universal phenomenon, it can be increasingly difficult to produce a book completely original.
But that is exactly what Jennifer Laurens has done. With a trend comes the risk of being compared to other authors, other stories.
The rise in popularity of the angel novels has seen many new takes on the creatures, but I can honestly say, hand over heart, that none have been done that can even be compared to Heavenly. Though obviously a paranormal novel, this book felt so In an age where YA has become a universal phenomenon, it can be increasingly difficult to produce a book completely original. Though obviously a paranormal novel, this book felt so real to me. It's heart may be in the clouds, in paradise and in Heaven, but it's roots are undoubtedly in here on earth. The romance in the book was delicious, excruciatingly well written and beautifully described.
With a leading man who possessed perfect looks and a wry sense of humour, there was nothing lacking when it came to him. Though I adored Zoe and falling for Matthias, I was hooked on the love she had for her family, flawed as they were. I think a lot of teens, male and female, can relate to this book. They will be able to find something relate-able with either Zoe, her home life, her brother, her problems. The first in a series, Heavenly will wrap around you like a thick blanket, making you feel cozy and safe as you pour over this delicious book.
If you don't run out your front door or get straight on the computer to Amazon for the next book, there is something seriously wrong with you! Apr 22, Mindy rated it it was ok. I wanted to read this YA book because it seemed to have a storyline I had thought up back when Twilight was so popular. It is essentially about a girl falling in love with an angel. It was a fast read. I didn't love it or hate it. I thought it was okay. The writing is typical for YA books not noteworthy. Some things that fell short for me was the relationship between the two main characters seemed unsubstantial, maybe a little lustful, which was hard to imagine with an angel.
Also, the convers I wanted to read this YA book because it seemed to have a storyline I had thought up back when Twilight was so popular. Also, the conversations were lacking. Sometimes I would think, 'If I had just met an angel I would be asking The ending was a surprise that I didn't much care for until I read the preview of book 2. Now I'm very interested in reading book 2 good writing there. I was actually surprised to see how many excellent reviews this book received, so it must have hit a chord with a lot of people. From the five chapters I read, I noticed numerous grammatical errors and I just can't stand the main character.
She is completely obnoxious and sanctimonious.see
Path of Penitence | White Wolf | FANDOM powered by Wikia
Her little sister has autism, but instead of trying to adapt and deal with her struggles our bitch of a MC wants her put in a home because she can't stop texting enough to watch her. A freaking state ran home. She also judges her brother for smoking weed when she binge drinks. I also have vibes that this is heavy religion lit No. I also have vibes that this is heavy religion lit more than typical angel YA. After Halo, I don't really want to read anything going in this direction and based on the narration I got on the sample I read I don't think I'll be continuing further.
That is why this book is rated one star. View all 6 comments. Oct 05, Alex rated it it was amazing. Oh, and did I mention he is an angel assigned to protect Zoe's little sister Abira? Zoe has it tough, I don't know how it is to have an autistic family member but through Zoe's eyes I can see that it is not easy. To some extent I see her point of view, and I see why she does all they partying and the drinking and first. And I would like to say that at the beginning I didn't like her much Review from: And I would like to say that at the beginning I didn't like her much as a character. She was pissed that Abira couldn't act like other children her age and that she was always stuck taking care of her.
But as the story unfolds and she meets Matthias and he helps her understand more things about herself and her sister. I loved Matthias, he was so innocent and pure. So much like I imagined and angel would be If I ever met one. He is also hot, funny, and charming which are things I hope to find if I ever meet an angel. I have read other novels and I they made the image of an angel so impure and non-celestial it kind of throws me off. But with Matthias he is the perfect balance of innocent and old-fashioned an immortal angel should be.
Just wanted to point that out. The story plot was very interesting and the ending, you will never see it coming. I know I didn't. I love reading books where the main character has a change of heart for the best and this is one of them. Internal struggle between what it right and what the heart wants.
It was an original love story with a twist and I loved every page of it. There is also a second possible love interest but you'll have to read the book yourselves to find out. Then come and talk to me about it!
Path of Penitence
My favorite kind of guy. Is that really a word? Probably not, but it is now. This book has a special place in my book loving heart, I will never forget it. I am not being melodramatic here, I truly and really enjoyed it. The characters are so real and so easy to like. And the story has issues people like me and you go through every day. So want to read about an agnsty-but then not angsty- teen, who during that transition meets a handsome old-fashioned angel who is assigned to protect her little sister but they end up liking each other a little too much?
Then this book, fellow book lover, is the perfect book for you! Oct 18, Ren rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Read paperback version and write the review in my own languange, Indonesia Zoe merasa kehidupannya tidak sama lagi setelah kelahiran adik perempuannya Abria.
Abria yang autis membuat keluarga Zoe sangat protektif terhadapnya, dan membuat hubungan Zoe, adik laki-lakinya Luke, dan orangtua mereka menjadi renggang, karena orangtua Zoe lebih memfokuskan perhatian mereka terhadapa Abria. Untuk mengisi kekosongan dalam hidupnya, Zoe melakukan satu-satunya hal yang dia tahu: Su Read paperback version and write the review in my own languange, Indonesia Zoe merasa kehidupannya tidak sama lagi setelah kelahiran adik perempuannya Abria.
Suatu hari, saat Zoe menemani Abria bermain di taman, dia kehilangan Abria. Keanehan terjadi, karena hanya Zoe dan Abria yang bisa melihat laki-laki itu, yang belakangan memperkenalkan dirinya sebagai Matthias. Zoe, yang sedikit shock dengan keberadaan Mathhias, mendapati bahwa sang adik Luke, ternyata mengalami ketergantungan terhadap obat-obatan. Belum lagi, sahabat karibnya, Britt, yang tidak mengacuhkan dirinya setelah berpacaran dengan laki-laki populer di sekolah, Weston.
Seolah belum cukup, orangtua Zoe mengetahui ketergantungan Luke terhadap obat-obatan dan kegemaran Zoe yang suka minum-minuman keras. Lelah dengan semua masalah yang menimpanya, Zoe mendapati keberadaan Mathhias menenangkannya, walaupun dia hanya bisa bertemu Matthias saat bersama Abria. Saat itulah Zoe menyadari bahwa dirinya dan Matthias tidak bisa bersatu karena kehidupan mereka yang berbeda. Untuk sebuah YA, Heavenly merupakan awal yang bagus untuk sebuah buku dengan genre ini.
Dan juga keberanian Jennifer Laurens, sang pengarang , untuk membuat suatu karakter yang terkena autisme dalam hal ini Abria dan how to deal with autism character. View all 10 comments. Aug 20, Kristina rated it it was amazing Shelves: Of course it was for the emotional connection I would feel I soo have known the feeling of having my own son disappearing on me.
I would love to know that there IS a guardian angel out there that is protecting him, and it would take a lot of the worry away! To know what he is feeling!!
How he sees the world through his eyes! So for all of those reasons and many more How did I feel about the families choices they made Scared because that is the elephant in the room When there is a lot of attention on the other sibling Do I wonder whether she feels ignored?
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Whether she will rebel So for those reasons I understood why Zoe, her brother, her parents were the way they were. And which made Zoe and Matthias love story even more powerful! It is a love story that pushes the boundaries that surround its characters. I love how Jennifer has made this very real, and very relatable!
And even though you can feel the writing building and you know something will happen For good and not so good reasons! And it was a story that had me putting it down.. Apr 30, Amina rated it really liked it Shelves: Well, while I cant say I loved it like i wish I could I still really enjoyed it! It did also make me tear up at the end So naturally when i first opened it I was giddy.. This book is about 18 year old Zoe who, really, has a lot to deal with. Due to her autistic little sister Zoe and her little brother hate home life and at first seem to want to do anything to g Well, while I cant say I loved it like i wish I could I still really enjoyed it!
Due to her autistic little sister Zoe and her little brother hate home life and at first seem to want to do anything to get away from it all. Plus seeing how fucked up their lives and their parents life have become compared to what it was At first Zoe came across as, well, a slut and really someone who just gave a Fuck all at everything in life. Lucus, Zoe's 16 year old brother, was someone who seemed ignorant and quote cowardly but I liked reading about him.
I really did love watching how they changed as people and learnt to deal with life in the right way. Abria is Zoes autistic little sister and i found her amazing. Normally young kids can really piss me off but I just kinda felt Sorry for her and just admired her especially from what Matthias tells.
But then im a complete sucker for all romances! I think the flaws lies really in the pacing and how some things would jump from here and there. I also didnt really like Britt either However Jennifer laurens has some real talent, you could just tell. I swear there's something abput Jennifers LOL. Anyway, this book honestly was so down to earth Brings out things like addiction and autism which I no little about and is pretty genuine. I'm now gonna condradict myself and say that there were sone aspects which were really unrealistic I felt but still.
No rebellious fallen angels. Which normally ain't my type but hey I still loved it. Plus I felt somewhat and really quite eerily relaxed and peaceful when I read this But honestly it was a really good read and i will be reading the rest of the trilogy too. View all 5 comments. Oct 30, Yelania Nightwalker rated it liked it Shelves: Explanation of the parable of the Prodigal Son, in which St. Ambrose applies it to refute the teaching of the Novatians, proving that reconciliation ought not to be refused to the greatest offender upon suitable proof of repentance.
And the Apostle does not contradict the plain teaching of Christ , Who set forth, as a comparison of a repentant sinner, one going to a foreign country after receiving all his substance from his father, wasted it in riotous living, and later, when feeding upon husks, longed for his father's bread and then gained the robe, the ring, the shoes, and the slaying of the calf, which is a likeness of the Passion of the Lord, whereby we receive forgiveness.
Well is it said that he went into a foreign country who is cut off from the sacred altar, for this is to be separated from that Jerusalem which is in heaven, from the citizenship and home of the saints. For which reason the Apostle says: Therefore now you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God. And, it is said, wasted his substance. Rightly, for he whose faith halts in bringing forth good works does consume it. For, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
And no wonder if he was perishing for hunger, who lacked the divine nourishment, impelled by the want of which he says: I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you. Do you not see it plainly declared to us, that we are urged to prayer for the sake of gaining the sacrament?
And do you wish to take away that for the sake of which penance is undertaken? Deprive the pilot of the hope of reaching port, and he will wander uncertainly here and there on the waves. Take away the crown from the athlete, and he will fail and lie on the course. Take from the fisher the power of catching his booty, and he will cease to cast the nets.
How, then, can he, who suffers hunger in his soul , pray more earnestly to God , if he has no hope of the heavenly food? I have sinned , he says, against heaven, and before you. He confesses what is clearly a sin unto death, that you may not think that any one doing penance is rightly shut out from pardon. For he who has sinned against heaven has sinned either against the kingdom of heaven , or against his own soul , which is a sin unto death, and against God , to Whom alone is said: Against You only have I sinned , and done evil before You.
Therefore most evidently are we bidden by the teaching of the Lord to confer again the grace of the heavenly sacrament on those guilty even of the greatest sins , if they with open confession bear the penance due to their sin. Ambrose turns against the Novatians themselves another objection concerning blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, showing that it consists in an erroneous belief, proving this by St.
Peter's words against Simon Magus, and other passages, exhorting the Novatians to return to the Church, affirming that such is our Lord's mercy that even Judas would have found forgiveness had he repented. But we have heard that you are accustomed to bring forward as an objection that which is written: Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, but blasphemies against the Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man , it shall be forgiven him, but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit , it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come.
Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men. Why, then, do you not remit them? Why do you bind chains which you do not loose?
- Fingertip Trompe Loeil.
- Study, Op. 45, No. 12!
Why do you tie knots which you do not unfasten? Forgive the others, and deal with those who you think are bound for ever by the authority of the Gospel for sinning against the Holy Spirit. But let us consider the case of those whom the Lord so binds, going back to the words before the passage quoted, that we may understand it more clearly: The Jews were saying: This man does not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub , prince of the devils.
Every kingdom divided against itself shall be destroyed, and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand; for if Satan casts out Satan , he is divided against himself, how then shall his kingdom stand? But if I cast out devils by Beelzebub , by whom do your sons cast them out? Now we see plainly here that the words are expressly used of those who were saying that the Lord Jesus cast out devils through Beelzebub , to whom the Lord gave that answer, because they were of the heritage of Satan , who compared the Saviour of all to Satan , and attributed the grace of Christ to the kingdom of the devil.
And that we might know that He was speaking of this blasphemy , He added: O generation of vipers, how can you speak good, being yourselves evil? He says, then, that those who thus speak attain not to forgiveness. Then, when Simon, depraved by long practice of magic, had thought he could gain by money the power of conferring the grace of Christ and the infusion of the Holy Spirit , Peter said: You have neither part nor lot in this faith , for your heart is not right with God.
Repent therefore of this your wickedness , and pray the Lord, if perchance this thought of your heart may be forgiven you, for I see that you are in the bond of iniquity and in the bitterness of gall. We see that Peter by his apostolic authority condemns him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit through magic vanity, and all the more because he had not the clear consciousness of faith. And yet he did not exclude him from the hope of forgiveness, for he called him to repentance.
The Lord then replies to the blasphemy of the Pharisees , and refuses to them the grace of His power, which consists in the remission of sins , because they asserted that His heavenly power rested on the help of the devil. And He affirms that they act with satanic spirit who divide the Church of God , so that He includes the heretics and schismatics of all times, to whom He denies forgiveness, for every other sin is concerned with single persons , this is a sin against all. For they alone wish to destroy the grace of Christ who rend asunder the members of the Church for which the Lord Jesus suffered, and the Holy Spirit was given us.
Lastly, that we may know that He is speaking of those who destroy the unity of the Church , we find it written: He that is not with Me is against Me, and he that gathered not with Me, scatters. Therefore I say unto you, every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, but blasphemies against the Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men. When He says, Therefore say I unto you, is it not evident that He intended the words following to be laid to heart by us beyond the others?
And He rightly added: The tree, then, is the association; the fruits of the good tree are the children of the Church. Return, then, to the Church , those of you who have wickedly separated yourselves. For He promises forgiveness to all who are converted, since it is written: Whosoever shall call on the Name of the Lord shall be saved. But what wonder is it if you should deny salvation to others, who reject your own, though they lose nothing who seek for penance from you? For I suppose that even Judas might through the exceeding mercy of God not have been shut out from forgiveness, if he had expressed his sorrow not before the Jews but before Christ.
I have sinned , he said, in that I have betrayed righteous blood. What is that to us, you see to that. What other reply do you give, when one guilty of a smaller sin confesses his deed to you? What do you answer but this: What is that to us, you see to that? The halter followed on those words, but the punishment is all the more severe, the smaller the sin is.
Concerning Repentance (Book II)
But if they be not converted, do you at least repent, who by many a slip have fallen from the lofty pinnacle of innocence and faith. We have a good Lord, Whose will it is to forgive all, Who called you by the prophet , and said: I, even I, am He that blots out transgressions, and I will not remember, but you remember, and let us plead together. As to the words of St. Peter to Simon Magus, from which the Novatians infer that there was no forgiveness for the latter, it is pointed out that St. Peter, knowing his evil heart, might well use words of doubt, and then by some Old Testament instances it is pointed out that perchance does not exclude forgiveness.
The apostles transmitted to us that penitence, the fruits of which are shown in the case of David. Ambrose then adduces the example of the Ephraimites, whose penitence must be followed in order to gain the divine mercy and the sacraments. The Novatians bring up a question from the words of the Apostle Peter.
Because he said, if perchance, they think that he did not imply that forgiveness would be granted on repentance. But let them consider concerning whom the words were spoken: If, then, the Lord refused to him who was not baptized permission to follow Him, because He saw that he was not sincere, do you wonder that the Apostle did not absolve him who after baptism was guilty of deceit, and whom he declared to be still in the bond of iniquity?
But let this be my answer to them. As to myself, I say that Peter did not doubt , and I do not think that so great a question can be burked by the questionable interpretation of a single word. For if they think that Peter doubted , did God doubt , Who said to the prophet Jeremiah: Stand in the court of the Lord's house, and you shall give an answer to all Judah, to those who come to worship in the Lord's house, even all the words which I have appointed for you to answer them.
Keep not back a word, perchance they will hearken and be converted. But ignorance is not implied in that word, but the common custom of holy Scripture is observed, in order to simplicity of utterance. Inasmuch as the Lord says also to Ezekiel: Son of man , I will send you unto the house of Israel , to those who have angered Me, both themselves and their fathers, unto this day, and you shall say unto them, Thus says the Lord, if perchance they will hear and be afraid.
So, then, that expression is not always a proof of doubt. And so they say that their earliest poet used the words,. But he had no doubt that when all were Joining in the attack one might well be laid low by all. But let us use our own instances rather than foreign ones. You find in the Gospel that the Son Himself says of the Father when He had sent His servants to His vineyard, and they had been slain , that the Father said, I will send My well-beloved Son , perchance they will reverence Him. If, then, Peter used those words which were used by God without any prejudice to His knowledge , why should we not assume that Peter also used them without prejudice to his belief?
For he could not doubt concerning the gift of Christ , Who had given him the power of forgiving sins ; especially since he was bound not to leave any place for the craftiness of heretics who desire to deprive men of hope, in order the more easily to insinuate into the despairing their opinion as to the reiteration of baptism. But the apostles , having this baptism according to the direction of Christ , taught repentance, promised forgiveness, and remitted guilt, as David taught when he said: Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord has not imputed sin. He calls each blessed, both him whose sins are remitted by the font, and him whose sin is covered by good works. For he who repents ought not only to wash away his sin by his tears, but also to cover and hide his former transgressions by amended deeds , that sin may not be imputed to him. Let us, then, cover our falls by our subsequent acts; let us purify ourselves by tears, that the Lord our God may hear us when we lament, as He heard Ephraim when weeping, as it is written: I have surely heard Ephraim weeping.
You have chastised me and I was chastised, like a calf I was not trained. And so repenting, Ephraim says: Turn me, and I shall be turned, for You are the Lord my God. Surely in the end of my captivity I repented, and after I learned I mourned over the days of confusion, and subjected myself to You because I received reproach and made You known. We see how to repent, with what words and with what acts, that the days of sin are called days of confusion; for there is confusion when Christ is denied.
Let us, then, submit ourselves to God , and not be subject to sin , and when we ponder the remembrance of our offenses, let us blush as though at some disgrace, and not speak of them as a glory to us, as some boast of overcoming modesty, or putting down the feeling of justice.
Let our conversion be such, that we who did not know God may now ourselves declare Him to others, that the Lord, moved by such a conversion on our part, may answer to us: Ephraim is from youth a dear son, a pleasant child, for since My words are concerning him, I will verily remember him, therefore have I hastened to be over him; I will surely have mercy on him, says the Lord. And what mercy He promises us, the Lord also shows, when He says further on: I have satiated every thirsty soul , and have satisfied every hungry soul.
Therefore, I awaked and beheld, and My sleep was sweet unto Me. Let us, then, all be converted to the Lord. Ambrose teaches out of the prophet Isaiah what they must do who have fallen. Then referring to our Lord's proverbial expression respecting piping and dancing, he condemns dances. Next by the example of Jeremiah he sets forth the necessary accompaniments of repentance. And lastly, in order to show the efficacy of this medicine of penance, he enumerates the names of many who have used it for themselves or for others. We have a good Lord, Whose will it is to forgive all, Who called you by the prophet and said: I, even I, am He that blots out your transgressions, and I will not remember, but you remember that we may plead together.
I, He says, will not remember, but remember, that is to say, I do not recall those transgressions which I have forgiven you, which are covered, as it were, with oblivion, but remember them. I will not remember them because of My grace , remember them in order to correction; remember, you may know that the sin is forgiven, boast not as though innocent, that you aggravate not the sin , but you will be justified, confess your sin.
For a shamefaced confession of sins looses the bands of transgression. You see what God requires of you, that you remember that grace which you have received, and boast not as though you had not received it. You see by how complete a promise of remission He draws you to confession. Take heed, lest by resisting the commandments of God you fall into the offense of the Jews , to whom the Lord Jesus said: We piped to you and you danced not; we wailed and you wept not.
The words are ordinary words, but the mystery is not ordinary. And so one must be on one's guard, lest, deceived by any common interpretation of this saying, one should suppose that the movements of wanton dances and the madness of the stage were commended; for these are full of evil in youthful age. But the dancing is commended which David practised before the ark of God. For everything is seemly which is done for religion, so that we need be ashamed of no service which tends to the worship and honouring of Christ.
Dancing, then, which is an accompaniment of pleasures and luxury, is not spoken of, but spiritually such as that wherewith one raises the eager body, and suffers not the limbs to lie slothfully on the ground, nor to grow stiff in their accustomed tracks. Paul danced spiritually, when for us he stretched forward, and forgetting the things which were behind, and aiming at those which were before, he pressed on to the prize of Christ. This dancing accompanies faith , and is the companion of grace. This, then, is the mystery. We piped to you, singing in truth the song of the New Testament , and you danced not.
That is, did not raise your souls to the spiritual grace. We wailed, and you wept not. That is, you did not repent. And therefore was the Jewish people forsaken, because it did not repent, and rejected grace. Repentance came by John, grace by Christ. He, as the Lord, gives the one; the other is proclaimed, as it were, by the servant. The Church , then, keeps both that it may both attain to grace and not cast away repentance, for grace is the gift of One Who confers it; repentance is the remedy of the sinner. Jeremiah knew that penitence was a great remedy, which he in his Lamentations took up for Jerusalem, and brings forward Jerusalem itself as repenting, when he says: She wept sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks, nor is there one to comfort her of all who love her.
The ways of Sion do mourn. And he says further: For these things I weep, my eyes have grown dim with weeping, because he who used to comfort me is gone far from me. How, then, can you take away the very comfort by refusing to repentance the hope of forgiveness? But let those who repent learn how they ought to carry it out, with what zeal , with what affection, with what intention of mind , with what shaking of the inmost bowels, with what conversion of heart: Behold, he says, O Lord, that I am in distress, my bowels are troubled by my weeping, my heart is turned within me.
Here you recognize the intention of the soul , the faithfulness of the mind , the disposition of the body: The elders of the daughters of Sion sat, he says, upon the ground, they put dust upon their heads, they girded themselves with haircloth, the princes hung their heads to the ground, the virgins of Jerusalem fainted with weeping, my eyes grew dim, my bowels were troubled, my glory was poured on the earth.
So, too, did the people of Nineveh mourn, and escaped the destruction of their city. To escape is, then, in your own power; the Lord wills to be entreated, He wills that men should hope in Him, He wills that supplication should be made to Him. You are a man , and willest to be asked to forgive, and do you think that God will pardon you without asking Him? The Lord Himself wept over Jerusalem, that, inasmuch as it would not weep itself, it might obtain forgiveness through the tears of the Lord. He wills that we should weep in order that we may escape, as you find it in the Gospel: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves.
David wept, and obtained of the divine mercy the removal of the death of the people who were perishing, when of the three things proposed for his choice he selected that in which he might have the most experience of the divine mercy. Why do you blush to weep for your sins , when God commanded even the prophets to weep for the people? And, lastly, Ezekiel was bidden to weep for Jerusalem, and he took the book, at the beginning of which was written: Lamentation, and melody, and woe, two things sad and one pleasant, for he shall be saved in the future who has wept most in this age.
For the heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, and the heart of fools in the house of feasting. Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh. An exhortation to mourning and confession of sins for Christ is moved by these and the tears of the Church. Illustration from the story of Lazarus. After showing that the Novatians are the successors of those who planned to kill Lazarus, St. Ambrose argues that the full forgiveness of every sin is signified by the odour of the ointment poured by Mary on the feet of Christ; and further, that the Novatian heretics find their likeness in Judas, who grudged and envied when others rejoiced.
Let us, then, mourn for a time, that we may rejoice for eternity. Let us fear the Lord, let us anticipate Him with the confession of our sins , let us correct our backslidings and amend our faults, lest of us too it be said: Woe is me, my soul , for the godly man is perished from the earth, and there is none among men to correct them. Why do you fear to confess your sins to our good Lord?
Set them forth, He says, that you may be justified. The rewards of justification are set before him who is still guilty of sin , for he is justified who voluntarily confesses his own sin ; and lastly, the just man is his own accuser in the beginning of his speaking. It is not His will that the devil should triumph over you and accuse you when you conceal your sins. Be beforehand with your accuser: Christ will come to your grave, and if He finds there weeping for you Martha the woman of good service, and Mary who carefully heard the Word of God , like holy Church which has chosen the best part, He will be moved with compassion, when at your death He shall see the tears of many and will say: Where have you laid him?
In which rank of penitents? I would see him for whom you weep, that he himself may move Me with his tears. I will see if he is already dead to that sin for which forgiveness is entreated. The people will say to Him, Come and see. It means, Let forgiveness of sins come, let the life of the departed come, the resurrection of the dead, let Your kingdom come to this sinner also. He will come and will command that the stone be taken away which his fall has laid on the shoulders of the sinner.
He could have removed the stone by a word of command, for even inanimate nature is wont to obey the bidding of Christ. He could by the silent power of His working have removed the stone of the sepulchre, at Whose Passion the stones being suddenly removed many sepulchres of the dead were opened, but He bade men remove the stone, in very truth indeed, that the unbelieving might believe what they saw, and see the dead rising again, but in a type that He might give us the power of lightening the burden of sins , the heavy pressure as it were upon the guilty.
Ours it is to remove the burdens, His to raise again, His to bring forth from the tombs those set free from their bands. So the Lord Jesus , seeing the heavy burden of the sinner, weeps, for the Church alone He suffers not to weep. For with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. If you have confessed at the call of Christ the bars will be broken, and every chain loosed, even the stench of the bodily corruption be grievous. For he had been dead four days and his flesh stank in the tomb; but He Whose flesh saw no corruption was three days in the sepulchre, for He knew no evils of the flesh, which consists of the substances of the four elements.
However great, then, the stench of the dead body may be, it is all done away so soon as the sacred ointment has shed its odour; and the dead rises again, and the command is given to loose his hands who till now was in sin ; the covering is taken from his face which veiled the truth of the grace which he had received. But since he has received forgiveness, the command is given to uncover his face, to lay bare his features.
For he whose sin is forgiven has nothing whereof to be ashamed. For you too are angry and gather a council against the Church , because you see the dead come to life again in the Church , and to be raised again by receiving forgiveness of their sins. And thus, so far as in you, you desire to slay again through envy those who are raised to life.
But Jesus does not revoke His benefits, nay, rather He amplifies them by additions of His liberality, He anxiously revisits him who was raised again, and rejoicing in the gift of the restored life, He comes to the feast which His Church has prepared for Him, at which he who had been dead is found as one among those sitting down with Christ.
Then all wonder who look upon him with the pure gaze of the mind , who are free from envy , for such children the Church has. They wonder, as I said, how he who yesterday and the day before lay in the tomb is one of those sitting with the Lord Jesus. Mary herself pours ointment on the feet of the Lord Jesus. The Apostle was the mouth of Christ , for he said, You seek a proof of Christ that speaks in me.
What, then, we read concerning Lazarus we ought to believe of every sinner who is converted, who, though he may have been stinking, nevertheless is cleansed by the precious ointment of faith. For faith has such grace that there where the dead stank the day before, now the whole house is filled with good odour. The house of Corinth stank, when it was written concerning it: It is reported that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not even among the Gentiles.
A good odour began when it was said: If you forgive anything to any one I forgive also. For what I also have forgiven, for your sakes have I done it in the person of Christ. Wherefore the Apostle, knowing well that he had shed upon all the ointment of apostolic forgiveness, says: We are a sweet savour of Christ unto God in them that are saved. At the pouring forth, then, of this ointment all rejoice ; Judas alone speaks against it. For the Lord both suffered and died that He might redeem us from death. This is manifest from the most excellent value from His death, which is sufficient for the absolution of the sinner, and his restoration to fresh grace ; so that all may come and wonder at his sitting at table with Christ, and may praise God , saying: Let us eat and feast, for he was dead and is alive again, had perished and is found.
Why does He eat with publicans and sinners? This is his answer: They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick. In urging repentance St. Ambrose turns to his own case, expressing the wish that he could wash our Lord's feet like the woman in the Gospel, which is a great pattern of penitence, though such as cannot attain to it find acceptance.
He prays for himself, especially that he may sorrow with sinners, who are better than himself. Those for whom Christ died are not to be contemned. Show, then, your wound to the Physician that He may heal it. Though you show it not, He knows it, but waits to hear your voice.