WATCHFUL and diligent in God?s service and often think of
why you left the world and came
here. Was it not that you might live for God and become a
spiritual man? Strive earnestly for
perfection, then, because in a short time you will receive
the reward of your labor, and neither fear
nor sorrow shall come upon you at the hour of death.
a little now, and soon you shall find great rest, in truth,
eternal joy; for if you continue
faithful and diligent in doing, God will undoubtedly be faithful
and generous in rewarding. Continue
to have reasonable hope of gaining salvation, but do not
act as though you were certain of it lest
you grow indolent and proud.
day when a certain man who wavered often and anxiously between
hope and fear was
struck with sadness, he knelt in humble prayer before the
altar of a church. While meditating on
these things, he said: ?Oh if I but knew whether I should
persevere to the end!? Instantly he heard
within the divine answer: ?If you knew this, what would you
do? Do now what you would do then
and you will be quite secure.? Immediately consoled and comforted,
he resigned himself to the
divine will and the anxious uncertainty ceased. His curiosity
no longer sought to know what the
future held for him, and he tried instead to find the perfect,
the acceptable will of God in the
beginning and end of every good work.
thou in the Lord and do good,? says the Prophet; ?dwell in
the land and thou shalt feed
on its riches." (8)
There is one thing that keeps many from
zealously improving their lives, that is, dread of the
difficulty, the toil of battle. Certainly they who try bravely
to overcome the most difficult and
unpleasant obstacles far outstrip others in the pursuit of
virtue. A man makes the most progress
and merits the most grace precisely in those matters wherein
he gains the greatest victories over
self and most mortifies his will. True, each one has his
own difficulties to meet and conquer, but
a diligent and sincere man will make greater progress even
though he have more passions than one
who is more even-tempered but less concerned about virtue.
things particularly further improvement?to withdraw oneself
forcibly from those vices
to which nature is viciously inclined, and to work fervently
for those graces which are most needed.
also to guard against and to overcome the faults which in
others very frequently displease
you. Make the best of every opportunity, so that if you see
or hear good example you may be moved
to imitate it. On the other hand, take care lest you be guilty
of those things which you consider
reprehensible, or if you have ever been guilty of them, try
to correct yourself as soon as possible.
As you see others, so they see you.
pleasant and sweet to behold brethren fervent and devout,
well mannered and disciplined!
How sad and painful to see them wandering in dissolution,
not practicing the things to which they
are called! How hurtful it is to neglect the purpose of their
vocation and to attend to what is not
the purpose you have undertaken, and keep in mind the image
of the Crucified.
Even though you may have walked for many years on the pathway
to God, you may well be ashamed
if, with the image of Christ before you, you do not try to
make yourself still more like Him.
religious who concerns himself intently and devoutly with
our Lord?s most holy life and
passion will find there an abundance of all things useful
and necessary for him. He need not seek
for anything better than Jesus.
the Crucified should come to our hearts, how quickly and abundantly
we would learn!
A fervent religious accepts all the things that are commanded
him and does them well, but a
negligent and lukewarm religious has trial upon trial, and
suffers anguish from every side because
he has no consolation within and is forbidden to seek it
from without. The religious who does not
live up to his rule exposes himself to dreadful ruin, and
he who wishes to be more free and
untrammeled will always be in trouble, for something or other
will always displease him.
do so many other religious who are confined in cloistered
discipline get along? They
seldom go out, they live in contemplation, their food is
poor, their clothing coarse, they work hard,
they speak but little, keep long vigils, rise early, pray
much, read frequently, and subject themselves
to all sorts of discipline. Think of the Carthusians and
the Cistercians, the monks and nuns of
different orders, how every night they rise to sing praise
to the Lord. It would be a shame if you
should grow lazy in such holy service when so many religious
have already begun to rejoice in
there were nothing else to do but praise the Lord God with
all your heart and voice, if you
had never to eat, or drink, or sleep, but could praise God
always and occupy yourself solely with
spiritual pursuits, how much happier you would be than you
are now, a slave to every necessity of
the body! Would that there were no such needs, but only the
spiritual refreshments of the soul
which, sad to say, we taste too seldom!
a man reaches a point where he seeks no solace from any creature,
then he begins to
relish God perfectly. Then also he will be content no matter
what may happen to him. He will
neither rejoice over great things nor grieve over small ones,
but will place himself entirely and
confidently in the hands of God, Who for him is all in all,
to Whom nothing ever perishes or dies,
for Whom all things live, and Whom they serve as He desires.
remember your end and do not forget that lost time never returns.
Without care and
diligence you will never acquire virtue. When you begin to
grow lukewarm, you are falling into
the beginning of evil; but if you give yourself to fervor,
you will find peace and will experience
less hardship because of God?s grace and the love of virtue.
fervent and diligent man is ready for all things. It is greater
work to resist vices and passions
than to sweat in physical toil. He who does not overcome
small faults, shall fall little by little into
you have spent the day profitably, you will always be happy
at eventide. Watch over yourself,
arouse yourself, warn yourself, and regardless of what becomes
of others, do not neglect yourself.
The more violence you do to yourself, the more progress you