* Dan. xii.3.
But you must not imagine that the great lights of Christianity, such as the Apostles, or a St. Augustine, a St. Thomas, and others, who have been proclaimed doctors of the Church, are alone in their glory. This class also includes the glorious confessors of the Church -- all holy Popes, bishops, and priests, who have zealously and faithfully preached the gospel to their flocks. It comprises also all those holy missionaries who, like the Apostles, preached Jesus crucified to the heathens, and brought them into the one true fold. These holy confessors, though not proclaimed doctors by the Church, nevertheless shine "as the stars for all eternity."
But, besides these glorious confessors, there are still others who partake of the peculiar glory promised to them "that instruct many unto justice." These are the innumerable multitudes of men and women who compose the different religious orders of the Church -- who spend their lives in the education of youth. There are, moreover, the writers, translators, and publishers of good books, and others, who, though not bound by any vows, devote themselves to the diffusion of religious knowledge. Among these, particular mention must be made of good parents, whose first care is to teach the knowledge and love of God to their children. In a word, all they who have, in any way, instructed others unto justice, partake of the peculiar glory of the doctors and confessors of the Church, though, no doubt, in an inferior degree. For the promise of a special reward is not made exclusively to a few gifted intellects, but to all, without any exception. "They that shall teach many unto justice, shall shine as the stars for all eternity."
Yet, although it is true that instructing others unto justice deserves a peculiar reward, we must not forget that the preaching of the gospel will not, of itself, glorify any one, unless it is accompanied by a pure intention, and the practice of virtue. Even if Judas, as an apostle, instructed many unto justice, he certainly does not now shine as a star on that account. Evidently, then, holiness of life must accompany our teaching of others. This is what our Blessed Lord tells us in the most positive manner, when he says: "He that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."* Hence, you must ever remember that, how gifted soever you may be, however eloquent, and how many soever you may have taught unto justice, you never can shine as a star in heaven, unless you at the same time lead a Christian life. Without this, your preaching will profit you nothing, even if others are saved by your eloquence.
* Matt. v.19.