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Posts Tagged ‘Burdens’

“In God’s name, do not despair”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2016/07/29 at 12:00 AM
The saints are those who struggle right to the end of their lives, who always get up each time they stumble, each time they fall, and courageously embark on their way once more with humility, love and hope. (The Forge, 186)

To make sure that cowardice does not make you betray the confidence God has placed in you, you must avoid the presumption of naively underestimating the difficulties that you will meet in your Christian life.

These difficulties shouldn’t surprise us. As a consequence of our fallen nature, we carry within us a principle of opposition, of resistance to grace. It comes from the wounds inflicted by original sin, and is aggravated by our own personal sins. Therefore we have to strive ever upwards, by means of our everyday tasks, which are both divine and human and always lead to the love of God. In this we must be humble and contrite of heart and we must trust in God’s help, while at the same time devoting our best efforts to those tasks as if everything depended on us.

As we fight this battle, which will last until the day we die, we cannot exclude the possibility that enemies both within and without may attack with violent force. And, as if this burden were not enough, you may at times be assailed by the memory of your own past errors, which may have been very many. I tell you now, in God’s name: don’t despair. Should this happen (it need not happen; nor will it usually happen) then turn it into another motive for uniting yourself more closely to Our Lord, for he has chosen you as his child and he will not abandon you. He has allowed that trial to befall you so that you may love him the more and may discover even more clearly his constant protection and Love.

Take heart, I insist, because Christ, who pardoned us on the Cross, is still offering us his pardon through the Sacrament of Penance. We always ‘have an advocate to plead our cause before the Father: the Just One, Jesus Christ. He, in his own person, is the atonement made for our sins, and not only for ours, but for the sins of the whole world’ [1], so that we may win the Victory. (Friends of God, 214)

[1] 1 John 2:1‑2

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“Carry each other’s troubles”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2014/09/05 at 12:00 AM
Our Lord says: ‘I give you a new commandment: Love one another. By this love everyone will know that you are my disciples’. And Saint Paul: ‘Carry each other’s troubles and you fulfill the law of Christ’. I have nothing to add. (The Way, 385)

If we look about us we could find reasons for believing that charity is a phantom virtue. But if we then consider things from a supernatural point of view, we can also see what is the root cause of this sterility: the absence of a continuous and intense, person‑to‑person relationship with Our Lord Jesus Christ, and an ignorance of the work of the Holy Spirit in the soul, whose very first fruit is precisely charity.

In commenting on St Paul’s advice, ‘bear one another’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ’, one of the Fathers of the Church says, ‘By loving Christ we can easily bear the weaknesses of others, including those people whom we do not love as yet because they are lacking in good works.’

This is the direction taken by the path that makes us grow in charity. We would be mistaken were we to believe that we must first engage in humanitarian activities and social works, leaving the love for God to one side. ‘Let us not neglect Christ out of concern for our neighbor’s illness, for we ought to love the sick for the sake of Christ.’

Turn your gaze constantly to Jesus who, without ceasing to be God, humbled himself and took the nature of a slave, in order to serve us. Only by following in his direction will we find ideals that are worthwhile. Love seeks union, identification with the beloved. United to Christ, we will be drawn to imitate his life of dedication, his unlimited love and his sacrifice unto death. Christ brings us face to face with the ultimate choice: either we spend our life in selfish isolation, or we devote ourselves and all our energies to the service of others. (Friends of God, 236)