Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics > Sacred Scripture
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Apr 27, '12, 7:13 pm
Curious Convert Curious Convert is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2012
Posts: 43
Religion: Catholic
Default Any Insights on 'My yoke is easy and My burden is light'?

Hi all,

I don't know about you, but trying to take up my cross and follow Christ according to the Church's teachings in every area of my life is the most difficult task that I have ever engaged in. Of course I believe it is still worth it to try. It's just that the 'hard and narrow path' metaphor rings a bell with me much more than 'a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light.' Am I missing something? Any insights?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Apr 27, '12, 7:51 pm
COPLAND 3's Avatar
COPLAND 3 COPLAND 3 is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: January 13, 2008
Posts: 3,231
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Any Insights on 'My yoke is easy and My burden is light'?

Here is from one of the greatest commentators, Cornelius a Lapide

Quote:
The yoke and burden of Christ is the gospel, say SS. Hilary, Bede, and others. The law of the gospel, therefore, is a yoke, because it binds us to discipline, lest any one should depart from justice. The Gr. for sweet is not γλυκὺς, i.e., sweet like sugar, but χρηστὸς, i.e., benefical, humane, kind (Arab.), good in comparison with the old law. 1st Because it has fewer and easier precepts; 2d. Because it gives greater grace, which much lightens the burden of the command; 3d. Because it rules us as sons, not by fear, as servants, like the ancient law; 4th because it does not threaten, nor bring in death, like the old law, but takes it away; 5th Because it promises to those who keep it the most felicitous life, and as it were, leads them by the hand to the sweetness of celestial joys, according to the words, “They shall be satisfied with the fulness of Thy house: Thou shalt give them drink of thy pleasures as out of a river.” Psalm xxxvi. 9.

He says, therefore, take My yoke upon you, because in the yoke of Divine servitude, perfect consolation and refreshment are included. Whence S. Ambrose (Lib. de Helia et jejun. Cap. 22): Receive, therefore, the yoke of Christ, do not fear because it is a yoke. Make haste, because it is light. It doth not bruise the neck, but dignifies it. Why do ye doubt? Why delay? It does not bind your neck with chains, but couples it with grace. It does not constrain of necessity, but directs the will to good works.

My, because indeed I, Christ, lay it upon you, yea, indeed, I beat it with you, and put My neck under the burden, yea I bear and carry all the burden, and you yourself with it. For that is called a yoke, which two beasts joined together bear. Christ then places one portion only of the yoke, i.e., the Evangelical Law, upon our neck; He himself bears the other and heavier part, and therefore He draws this yoke with us, and infuses strength and courage into us to draw it, both by His grace and by His example. So lately there was a certain priest in Japan of the Society of Jesus, who generously endured a dreadful death for Christ’s sake, who was often wont to say. “Christ therefore makes the yoke putrescent before the face of the oil.” Is. x. 27. (Vulg.)

We may apply what we read in the life of S. Mechtildes, who when she was tormented with fearful headaches and could find no rest, heard these words from Christ as He showed her the wound in His side, enter now, and be at rest. This straightway she did, and entered in with gladness. And it seemed to her that He had as many silken pillows as she had felt pangs of headache. And the Lord said, “Silk worms carry silk, and of Me it has been written, I am a worm and no man. Hitherto thou hast served Me devotedly in labours; from henceforth thou shall study to serve Me in pleasing exercises of virtues by My example; and the things which shall be insupportable to thee, I will carry with thee.”

This yoke, therefore, of Christ is not so much a yoke as a silken pillow, because it does not press us with trouble, but releases us from the weight of earthly things, and raises us to Heaven.

Wherefore S. Bernard appositely compares this burden to the plumage of birds. Thus he writes to the monks (Epist. 341), “In the way of life the more swiftly, the more easily we run; and the larger the Saviour’s light burden grows, the more portable it becomes. Does not the quantity of plumage a bird has lighten, rather than weigh it down? Take away its feathers, and what remains of it is borne down to the ground by its own weight.”

Thus, likewise, is Christ’s discipline, thus His sweet yoke, thus His light burden; if we lay it down, we are ourselves depressed, because He carries us rather than is carried by us. S. Ambrose adds (in Ps. cxix. Serm. 3), “To carry the yoke of Christ is sweet, if you consider it an ornament to your neck, not a burden. Lift up, therefore, thine eyes to the Lord thy God, seek God, and thou shalt find Him. Erect thy neck; thou earnest a necklace, not a chain. Many creatures delight in a necklace, and seem to themselves to be adorned rather than made naked; like as the cheeks of the turtle-dove will bear the marks of her modesty, the necklace of her neck will raise the presumption of her liberty. There is nothing more glorious than that yoke of Christ.” Lastly, S. Bernard (Serm. 15 in Ps. Qui habitat) by yoke and burden understands the load of God’s gifts and favours, because the burden of the law which is imposed is the gift of grace, the perfect observance of which brings all other gifts into the mind. "God burdens us when He unburdens us. He lades us with benefits when He unlades us of our sins. This is the voice of him who is burdened, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all the benefits that He hath done unto me?” The voice of him who is burdened, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Moreover, to the proud and carnal, the yoke of Christ and the law of humility, abstinence, continence, mortification, seems very heavy and intolerable, because they are devoid of the Spirit, and only love and think of the flesh and fleshly things...
__________________
For excellent Catholic resources check out Consolamini http://consolamini.org/
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Apr 27, '12, 7:51 pm
COPLAND 3's Avatar
COPLAND 3 COPLAND 3 is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: January 13, 2008
Posts: 3,231
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Any Insights on 'My yoke is easy and My burden is light'?

continue...

Quote:
Truly says S. Chrysostom (Hom. 14, in 1 ad Cor.), “Virtue is rugged if it be compared with our weakness; for that it is easy and light, hear Christ testifying, My yoke is sweet, and My burden is light. But if thou dost not understand, let not wonder seize thee, for thou art not of a brave mind: for as, when strength of mind is present heavy things become light, so when it is absent, light things become heavy. What, I ask, was sweeter than manna? What readier to their hand? Nevertheless the Jews murmured when they were feeding on delicacies. What more dreadful than the hunger and the other labours which Paul endured? Nevertheless he rejoiced and was glad, saying, Now I rejoice in mine infirmities. What, then, was the cause of these things? Diversity of mind, which, if thou wouldst make it such as it ought to be, thou wouldst discern the easiness of virtue.”
__________________
For excellent Catholic resources check out Consolamini http://consolamini.org/
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Apr 27, '12, 7:54 pm
COPLAND 3's Avatar
COPLAND 3 COPLAND 3 is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: January 13, 2008
Posts: 3,231
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Any Insights on 'My yoke is easy and My burden is light'?

This is from the Haydock Bible, which you can never go wrong

Quote:
For my yoke is sweet, &c. For though, in regard of our weak nature, it be a very heavy yoke, yet the grace of God renders it easy and light, because our Lord himself helps us to bear it, according to that of the prophet Osee, (Chap. xi, ver. 4) I will be unto them as he that takes the yoke from off their heads. St. Bernard says, that our Saviour sweetens by the spiritual unction of his grace, all the crosses, penances, and mortifications of religious souls. St. Augustine owns, that before he knew the power of grace, he could never comprehend what chastity was, nor believe that any one was able to practice it; but the grace of God renders all things easy. (Rodriguez, On Mortification. Chap. xix.)
__________________
For excellent Catholic resources check out Consolamini http://consolamini.org/
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Apr 27, '12, 7:59 pm
COPLAND 3's Avatar
COPLAND 3 COPLAND 3 is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: January 13, 2008
Posts: 3,231
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Any Insights on 'My yoke is easy and My burden is light'?

Here is a small insight by St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica

Quote:
The Old Law inflicted the punishment of blood, whereas the New Law does not. Hence the comparison fails between the ministers of the Old Testament and those of the New, which is a sweet yoke and a light burden (Mat. 11:30).
__________________
For excellent Catholic resources check out Consolamini http://consolamini.org/
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Apr 27, '12, 8:01 pm
COPLAND 3's Avatar
COPLAND 3 COPLAND 3 is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: January 13, 2008
Posts: 3,231
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Any Insights on 'My yoke is easy and My burden is light'?

The Blessed Theophylact says

Quote:
The yoke of Christ is humility and meekness. For he who humbles himself before all men has rest and remains untroubled; but he who is vainglorious and arrogant is ever encompassed by troubles as he does not wish to be less than anyone but is always thinking how to be esteemed more highly and how to defeat his enemies. Therefore the yoke of Christ, which is humility, is light, for it is easier for our lowly nature to be humbled than to be exalted. But all the commandments of Christ are also called a yoke, and they are light because of the reward to come, even though for a time they appear heavy.
__________________
For excellent Catholic resources check out Consolamini http://consolamini.org/
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Apr 27, '12, 8:57 pm
Crumpy Crumpy is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: January 29, 2006
Posts: 2,970
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Any Insights on 'My yoke is easy and My burden is light'?

I've just finished reading a gruelling commentary book on Romans.

It's called the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture Vol 6 Romans, from intervarsity press.

It was really tough reading these early church writers commenting on the words of St. Paul.
One of them even condenses the book down to the well-known minimum of do-good-avoid-evil.

Paul and these early church writers are in agreement, that baptism means putting our bodies spiritually to death -- in Baptism we have died with Christ. Just as Christ rose from the dead, we rise to a new form of life. It is a life in which we are -- now -- part of the Kingdom of God.

We are to discipline ourselves so that it is AS IF our body was dead when temptation comes around to bother us. Our bodies are already corpses, when it comes to sin.

Paul comes around to saying that if our bodies are carnal and still sinning, then we are not saved.

The book says, the smartest thing we can do in life is to stop sinning. I had a big spiritual enlightening while reading this book, and I'm getting the upper hand on *some* of my biggest temptations, but not all

Even in Paul's day and in the following centuries, these writers were saying how can they stop sinning when sin is virtually a part of us -- it's who we are.

Taking up our cross means to crucify our passions, put them to death, so that we can have life.

Jews say the "shema" two or three times a day. (Dt 6:4 or the Nt version, around Mk12:24 or so) "Hear O Israel the LORD our God is one God. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength."

Strength. That's the focus. do we love God with all our strength, to put an end to sin? When you're sinning, notice and evaluate yourself if you are resisting "with all your strength." I can't honestly say that I am, and this is what I concentrate on -- all my strength.

You might be able to pick up a copy at your public library of a book by Lutheran minister and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer called "The Cost of Discipleship." This book is decidedly Lutheran in substance, but there's still a lot of spiritually motivating writing there.

I'm retired and have over 10 years to decompress my memories. I'm having memories of all the times I was bullied in grade school and high school. It's hard for me to think that I've forgiven those who injured me. I have a lot to work on. you're not alone.
__________________
I rejoiced when they said to me, let us go up to the house of the Lord.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Apr 27, '12, 10:32 pm
cc42 cc42 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 1, 2012
Posts: 144
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Any Insights on 'My yoke is easy and My burden is light'?

'My yoke is easy and my burden is light' and 'the path to heaven is narrow' go hand in hand because people think it is hard to surrender to Christ but if you do this the yoke truly will be easy. It seems to be a heavy burden in order to give up everything but really it is most liberating because you do not have to worry about being great or attaching yourself to things instead you can find that greatness and attachment in Christ. If you free yourself of things then you will find that life is not only more enjoyable but that really this heavy burden is really a light one and you will get rid of the things that separate you from God.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old Apr 27, '12, 10:38 pm
AveMariaMag7's Avatar
AveMariaMag7 AveMariaMag7 is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: October 19, 2011
Posts: 40
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Any Insights on 'My yoke is easy and My burden is light'?

I've noted that when I'm going through trials.
eg: my arthritic pain or
eg: my husband's non-acceptance of his health problems borne with patience:
Both (yokes) have been easier to bear when I consciously say and pray.
"Thy Will be done" or I offer up these "yokes" for the good of someone with greater or moral problems.
Neither of our problems are resolved but my mental attitude brings me peace and in the latter case, even a joy, that with these "problems" that I offer up I am actually helping somebody overcome some greater or moral evil.
and THIS makes my "yoke" lighter and sweeter to bear.
__________________
"Be Still and know that I am God." Psalms 45:10 Douay-Rheims
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old Apr 30, '12, 5:46 am
Curious Convert Curious Convert is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2012
Posts: 43
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Any Insights on 'My yoke is easy and My burden is light'?

Wow, thanks for all the insights

I see that I have a good bit of 'releasing' and 'surrendering' to do in order to have peace amidst trials...
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics > Sacred Scripture

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8479Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: Weejee
5153CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: Vim71
4429Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: daughterstm
4037OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: eschator83
3864SOLITUDE
Last by: Prairie Rose
3762Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: daughterstm
3332Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: Amiciel
3288Poems and Reflections
Last by: tonyg
3225Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: 4elise
3116For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: Weejee



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 4:27 am.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.