Tuesday, September 05, 2006



We are all sinners, who can do nothing good, but "for his own workshippers, the Lord has a father's pity; does he not know the stuff of which we are made, can he forget that we are only dust?" Ps. 102, 13,14
With God's help, we can and must persevere to the end. When at last we stand before him, it will avail us nothing to say: "My God, the obstacle in my way were too great; it was impossible to overcome them. My innumerable falls deprived me of all courage." The Lord will have the right to answer: "Had you been alone, it would have been true enough, but I sent you my Son who expiated all your sins, paid for them all. His sacrifice gave me the satisfaction I had a right to demand, for the crimes of the whole world. You had but to lean on him and on his merits."
Beginnings are easy enough; the difficulty is to hold out until the prize is won, or, as St. Paul puts it, to "press on with the goal in view, eager for the prize" Phil. 3, 13
We must persevere, notwithstanding mischance, faults and imperfections, none of which we can completely avoid as long as we are on earth. None, save Our Lady, was ever spared them. The fault committed, we have but to regret it, to beg for pardon
and to satisfy for it by an act of love. Our human faults and shortcommings must never be a cause of discouragement; they do no lasting harm to the soul, since they can be effaced by an act of charity.
Even the great Apostle was forced to cry: "Pitiable creature that I am, who is to set me free from a nature thus doomed to death?" and he answers: "Nothing else than the grace of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord."Rom. 7. 24, 25.
Whatever our frailties, they should never dishearten us. If the fault is onvoluntary, it only gives us a greater right to God's mercy. St. Paul, who describes our condition so perfectly, adds: "Nothing is beyond my powers, thanks to the strength God gives me."Phil 4, 13.
There is thus no difficulty that we cannot overcome, no suffering that we cannot bear, no trial that we cannot support, no temptation we cannot resist, thanks to the grace Christ merited. His greatest triumph is that He makes the weak strong. No temptation is to be feared, provided we resist it. On the contrary, it will profit us greatly; the victory gained will strengthen our love for the God who is love....We must learn to be patient with ourselves and others, to go on our way, unhurried and peaceful. Even our striving after perfection must be calm and unflustered; we know that our very weakness is our strength, because it makes us lean on the power of Christ. The more discoregement threatens, the more we will trust him. So we will go steadily forward, knowing that we cannot stop without sliding back, and that Christ's all-conquering might dwells in us. Life is short; we must work while it is yet day. "The night is coming, when there is no working any more."John 9,4

fragments from "With the Church - meditations on topics from Missal and Breviary" ed by Fr M. Goossens, OFM, JH Gottmer-Gobrevi, 1962.