He Is Truly One of Us

Father Benson states: “It is at once the privilege and the burden of Catholics that they know so much of Jesus Christ. . . . To have a knowledge of the Creator is incalculably a more noble thing than to have a knowledge of His Creation. Yet it is a burden as well; for the splendour of this knowledge may be so great as to blind us to the value of its details. The blaze of the Divinity to him who sees it may be so bright as to bewilder him with regard to the humanity.”

“Devout souls often complain of their loneliness on earth. They pray, they frequent the sacraments, they do their utmost to fulfil the Christian precepts; and, when all is done, they find themselves solitary. . . . They adore Christ as God; . . . yet of that intimate knowledge of and companionship with Him in which the Divine Friendship consists, they have experienced little or nothing. They long, they say, for one who can stand by their side and upon their own level, who can not merely remove suffering, but can himself suffer with them, one to whom they can express in silence the thoughts which no speech can utter; and they seem not to understand that this is the very post which Jesus Christ Himself desires to win, that the supreme longing of His Sacred Heart is that He should be admitted, not merely to the throne of the heart or to the tribunal of conscience, but to that inner secret chamber of the soul where a man is most himself, and therefore most utterly alone.”

“See how full are the Gospels of this desire of Jesus Christ! . . . . ‘Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus’ (John 11:5). ‘Jesus, looking upon him, loved him’ (Mark 10:21)—loved him it seems with an emotion distinguished from that of the Divine Love that loves all things that It has made; . . . loved him as I love my own friend, and as he loves me.”

“It is these moments, probably, above all others, that have endeared Jesus Christ to humanity—moments in which He displayed Himself as truly one of us.”

Quotations from Robert Hugh Benson, The Friendship of Christ (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1912).

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