The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Homily Notes on Matthew 8:24: The Storm as a Type of Both the Church and the Soul by Fr. George Howe

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 30, 2017

A great tempest arose in the sea~Mt 8:24.

i. Scripture often represents life as a stormy ocean,
ii. The ship, in to-day’s Gospel, is a type of

a. The Church, amid persecutions and scandals.
b. The Soul, in temptation and trial.

I. The Church:

i. Persecution in some form, ever the lot of the Church: e.g.

a. The ten great persecutions, under the Roman Emperors.

b. Persecution in pagan lands still: In China, Africa, etc.

c. Opposition and oppression in civilized lands: As in Italy and France, at the present day. (Fr. Howe published these notes in 1903. Needless to say, opposition and oppression have become even more widespread in the western world).

d. Captivity or exile of the Head of the Church.

ii. Scandals in the Church:

a. Fall of even an Apostle.

b. Heresies and Schisms:

Arianism, condemned A.D. 325.

The Iconoclasts, 8th c.

Schism in England, i6th c.

c. Dissensions, disputes, etc.

iii. Recourse to God, as with the Apostles to Our Lord.

a. Fervent prayer: Lord, save us.

1. Leo XIII. on prayer in the Church’s trials.

b. Faith and Confidence in God who overrules all.

1. His promise to be ever with the Church: Mt 28:20.

c. Good lives in Catholics, showing forth the truth of Religion.

II. The Soul:

i. Individual souls tempted to sin:

a. Against God: pride, irreligion.

b. Against Neighbours: injustice of any kind.

c. Against Self: sensuality, idleness.

ii. Each one has trials of the temporal order also :

a. Poverty, sickness, deaths.

b. Persecution from neighbours,

iii. Act then, as sailors in a storm:

a. They reef the sails, lest the winds overpower them.

1. Curb the love of pleasure.

2. Mortify the senses.

3. Otherwise the soul will sink into sin, perhaps into Hell !

b. They make for the high seas :

1. Avoid the world and its pleasures.

2. Soar aloft in prayer.

c. They throw goods overboard, to lighten the vessel.

1. Cast forth sin in humble confession.

2. Sailors regret their loss, yet safety is the first consideration.

3. So we, with sin and its occasions, must gain salvation at any cost.

d. Remember that all things work for good, if we love Go: Rom. 8:28.


i. In the public trials of the Church, have recourse to prayer. Though His ways seem slow, God s Providence is ever watchful.
ii. So also in the private crosses of each one.
iii. Perseverance in prayer pleasing to God, and essential.
iv. Human passions cause turmoil in the soul.

a. Our Lord may seem to sleep, because of our tepidity.
b. Call on Him by Prayer, Penance, Almsdeeds.

v. Rejoice, amid the storms in your soul, as being thought worthy to suffer for God : Acts 5:41.

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