“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”
2 Cor. 2:15
At this year’s Easter Vigil I was struck by the scent of the freshly blessed Chrism oil that we used for Confirmation. I tried to recall Newman’s prayer on the fragrance of Christ but I couldn’t remember it. Well, here it is:
Dear Jesus help us to spread your fragrance everywhere we go. Flood our souls with your spirit and life. Penetrate and possess our whole being, so utterly, that our lives may be only a radiance of yours. Shine through us. And be so in us, that every soul we come in contact with may feel your presence in our soul. Let them look up and see no longer us but only Jesus! Stay with us, and then we shall begin to shine as you shine; so to shine as to be a light to others; the light, O Jesus, will be all from you; none of it will be ours; it will be you, shining on others through us. Let us thus praise you in the way you love best by shining on those around us. Let us preach you without preaching, not by words but by our example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what we do, the evident fullness of the love our hearts bear to you. Amen.
– John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890)