Blessed Are They That Hunger!
Life is a burden but the yoke of Faith is sweet! A living faith, which permeates all of our actions, gives us the strength to cope successfully with the problems of life, and to bear all things for God’s sake.
To find love, we must first light a candle. Until now, we have searched for God in the dark. Supernatural faith is the victory, which overcomes the world; it is a living embrace of God. When we speak of love, we say, “I love.” Love is the verb and the action word. When we say, “I am loved,” it is a passive expression as if I have received the love. In reality, it is quite the opposite. When I love someone, the person I love has radiated towards me attractive forces, which bring me under his or her influence. Only then, do I begin to serve this person – both interiorly and exteriorly. On the contrary, if I am loved by others, then I have first been active because it is I who have radiated the attractive forces that drew others to me.
“Come to Me all you who labor and are burdened,
It is necessary that we be drawn, otherwise we do not come to the Son and through the Son to the Father. We do not first leave the world and then find God, but first we are drawn by God and only then we become less and less attached to the things of the world. Our Heavenly Father takes this work upon Him-self. It is He who draws us.
Faith is daring!
Faith is the sacrifice of our understanding. Before faith, our natural reason must be still. Faith surpasses human understanding! Our faith is not against but above reason. Faith is an act of our will, by which we unconditionally accept all the truths God has revealed for He can neither deceive nor be deceived! During the consecration of the Sacred Wine, the Priest says…“This is the Chalice of My Blood of the New and Eternal Covenant, THE MYSTERY OF FAITH, which shall be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins.” Faith depends on the free assent of the will. THY WILL BE DONE! In truth, Faith is unconditional, courageous and irrevocable. True faith demands a sacrifice of the whole man.
Faith is a Holocaust: A life that is dominated by faith constantly forces us to make decisions. Always, we must decide between Christ and the world, between Him and all mankind, between Him and our very self. All of us consider ourselves Christian but that is not enough, we must become Christs in very truth. Only he who dares all, and gives all can hope to become a real Christian, a real “Christ”. This very thought is frightening to some, yet, even in the practical world, it makes good sense. Should we give all and sacrifice all for the hope of a blessed eternity, and there be none, we have lost only a few years and might have been a fool. But, if there is an eternal account to which we will be held, then our opponents hazard a whole eternity!
My dear Christian, how YOU have been fooled if your Heaven is NOT TRUE!
My dear atheist, how YOU have been fooled if, IN TRUTH, Hell is your due!
We have far too little daring in the spiritual life; due to our cowardice, we get nowhere. We must risk EVERYTHING for God! There is absolutely no security in this life.
LIFE IN FAITH IS LIFE IN GRACE!
Faith is a grace and every grace is the fruit of the Cross. The growth of grace is realized in the soul by and through prayer. It is not enough to say a few prayers of obligation – we must pray without ceasing! For the temporal necessities, we need not worry much. Did not Our Lord say: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His Justice and all these things shall be given unto you.” (Matthew 6:33). We should use our time of prayer to obtain eternal and divine gifts. Prayer is an act of religion. In prayer, we occupy our rightful place in relationship to God, our place as creature before our Creator.
All things that increase sanctifying grace in our souls, augment the life of Christ and increase the light of faith in us. Faith is a spiritual light. Every light must be supplied with fuel. Not only must every lamp be cared for properly, but it must also be kept full with oil. Prayer is the oil of the Lamp of Faith! One does not have to attend Mass daily, be well learned in theological matters or have great talents and capabilities so as to preach or perform noble actions of charity. These are not the measure of our holiness. The man who has five talents has no right to a greater reward than the man who is given but one. But, he does have greater responsibility! Weakness is our great asset on the road to sanctity. The smaller, weaker and poorer we are in His sight, the more clearly we realize our own nothingness and the better grace can work in our soul. “For when I am weak, then I am powerful.” (II Cor.12: 9, 10) We must seek with our whole mind, heart, and soul First the Kingdom of God and His Justice. “FIRST” means only and exclusively. When we are absolute emptiness, only then can we receive the abundance of God.
The singular most important role we play in our sanctification is to give God the only thing we possess – OUR FREE WILL! It is our part in the sanctification of our souls. God reigns now in Heaven. The members of His Mystical Body on earth continue to suffer, work, pray and sacrifice in order that our measure of the Redemption be complete. A thousand million heathens have not yet heard of the glad tidings of the Gospel of Christ. How can they hear it if it is not preached to them? How can they receive His message if there are no heralds? God still asks, “Whom shall I send?” How few there are who answer with the prophet, “Here I am Lord, send me.”
Very many souls will not find the true Church because there are so few laborers in the vineyard and the faith of those present, is but weak. God thirsts for souls. The obligation to extend the kingdom of God rests on all of us. No one can excuse himself. We are all our brother’s keepers. We are the liberators of our Eucharistic Prisoner: Christ is desire and we are to be His deed! In the Most Blessed Sacrament, Jesus is condemned to inaction and external silence. Jesus needs our hearts, our hands, our bodies and souls in order to manifest His Activity. We must be His “DEED,” if Activity Itself is not to remain inactive. Jesus must wait until a human heart offers itself without reserve, in perfect faith.
When Christ wants to live and work in us, He is forced to wait for our goodwill. Christ cannot grow in us when we tenaciously hold on to our will. “He must increase but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) “I thirst!” Christ still calls down from the Cross. Not only are we permitted to take part in the work of the redemption but also we are privileged to be called to carry Christ’s Cross with Him. God has no need of our exterior acts nor does He need our accomplishments, he desires only our will. Mortification is not perfection. It is only a means to an end. Our heaven and our hell depend on OUR WILL. The will is the most hidden sanctuary of the soul into which no one, not even God Himself, will force entrance.
I WILL TO WILL THE WILL OF GOD!
On the two wings of grace and goodwill, the soul takes its flight to heaven. By our desires, we can shed anew the redeeming Blood of Christ and sprinkle it over the souls of men. Our desires are the fountainhead of our every deed. Christ changes every one of our supernatural desires into deeds. A fervent desire for Baptism, accompanied with perfect love and perfect contrition, substitutes for that important and necessary Sacrament when its actual reception is impossible to us. Perfect contrition, which is nothing else than the desire for restoration of son-ship with the Father (a readiness to fulfill in all things the Will of God) blots out mortal sin. There remains for us but the obligation to confess our grievous sin as soon as possible. Perfect contrition substitutes for the Sacrament of Penance should the repentant sinner die without a Priest. We do not suffer a disadvantage when circumstances beyond our control hinder our desires from reaching fruition. Spiritual Communion then gains for our soul all the graces and the merits of Sacramental Communion.
DISMAS, THE SINNER!
DISMAS, THE THIEF!
Throughout his life, crime and hate filled his days. Hanging now upon the cross next to Jesus, his heart was opened to truth and he embraced his cross and made a public act of perfect Faith:
“LORD, remember me when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom”.
His sins were immediately and completely forgiven and he was canonized while still alive. On the ground, he had been a sinner; raised up on the cross he became a saint! Let us imitate him. How is it, we waste our time wondering why we suffer and resent our cross? We WILL carry it, with merit or without! Let us imitate Saint Dismas in our suffering. Look to Jesus Christ crucified and beg only that He remember us where He reigns as King, eternally in Glory!
The soul who loves God possesses Him. We have, in the Immaculate Virgin Mary, an example of perfect Faith. When God manifested His Will to her, she obeyed Him immediately and completely. It is great boldness on anyone’s part to question whether God’s manifested Will is good for him. Like Mary, we must obey. “Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye.” (John 2:5)
When there was a question of sacrifice and suffering Our Blessed Mother was allowed full participation in the life of Christ. The greatest sacrifice Jesus asked of Mary was on Calvary. She must live, but He must die! Erect she stood under the Cross as Co-Redemptrix. In union with her High-Priest-Son, she offered the first Mass to the Most Blessed Trinity for the redemption of the world. Her First-born had been sacrificed for the good of her other children. Now began the second part of her life. Jesus said: “Behold thy son”. You must remain on earth to see Me and to love Me in each member of My Church. You must continue to be My mother. Do for them, what you have done for Me. Heaven stood silent to hear again her FIAT, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; Be it done unto me according to Thy Word.”
Mary knows what it means to walk by faith. Let us fly to Mary when the oil in our lamp runs low. Her love will supply what is lacking in ours. The Immaculate Virgin Mary directs the light of the Holy Ghost on every spiritual flower to bring it to fruition. Without Mary, there is no life in Jesus and no life in faith. Only when the love of Mary hovers over our soul can Christ be formed in us.
The dread disease of our modern times is MEDIOCRITY. It is our greatest enemy! We must have courage enough to give our whole self in the service of God, to offer Him all that we possess. “The Kingdom of Heaven suffer violence, and the violent bear it away.” Our life here below is a continuous dying. How often we allow ourselves to be deceived by that which is external. Only eternal values are important. Each of us is asked to renounce all that he holds dear; to sacrifice all that he possesses!
The forces of evil are drawn up in battle array. The soul of man is not only the battlefield but it is also the prize to be won or lost in this great conflict. We must put on the armor of God that we may stand firm against the deceits of the devil. We are wrestling not with flesh and blood, but against Principalities and Powers. We must be vigilant. We must keep the lamp of our immortal soul burning brightly. We must pray without ceasing. Our fire of faith, hope and charity must not burn out. God has done His part. Now we must do ours. What a terrible responsibility lies on our shoulders! Sin works itself out in wars, famine and pestilences. Self-seeking is death. Love is life.
We must be the:
SALT of the earth,
All men must see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven. Whether souls are to be won or lost for Christ has been given into the hands of each individual member of the Mystical Body of Christ. Not the great, but the little ones, rule the world.
When we look at the battle of life confronting us, how often we misjudge its gravity thinking it can be fought with human weapons. If we wish to obtain victory, we must first divest ourselves of our all ‘too-human’ way of thinking and study well Our Lord’s law of spiritual war-fare. Did not Peter stretch forth his hand to an earthly weapon? Christ commanded him to put up his sword and restored the injury done to the enemy. Jesus Christ conquered through His death. All wisdom lies hidden in the Cross. All of our strength is to be found in the apparent ‘weakness’ of the Crucified.
Dying, we conquer!
The blood of Martyrs is the seed of Christians. If we enter battle trusting in our earthly armor, our defeat is certain. All that take up the sword, shall perish by the sword. We must renounce earthly weapons if we want to be assured of victory. Down through the centuries, when the cry was heard: “The Church is dying.” She burst forth on an astonished world in all the splendor of a new Resurrection. All her strength is supernatural strength. At times we must suffer injustice, but at no time must we ever commit injustice! We are sure to fail if we fight God’s battle with earthly weapons and worldly strategies. The more the spiritual is mingled with the worldly; the more it loses its fighting strength and all chance for victory.
The children of God and the children of the world serve two entirely different masters, live in two entirely different spheres, move on two entirely different planes, measure everything with two entirely different scales. “The servant is not greater than his MASTER. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” (John 15: 20). Eternal life has to be bought at the price of our natural life. To obtain heaven we must die to ourselves and to sin. We must place our total and absolute trust in God. We must give our all! In the hour of our death, NOTHING must hold us to the earth. All bonds must have been broken.
Stand Fast In The Faith!