Tu me dis que oui : que tu es fermement décidé(e) à suivre le Christ. Eh bien, tu dois aller au pas de Dieu ; non au tien ! – St Josemaría, Forge, 531
Si, par ta prière, ton esprit de sacrifice et tes actes, tu ne fais pas preuve d’une préoccupation constante pour l’apostolat, voilà une preuve évidente que tu n’es pas assez heureux, et donc que ta fidélité doit s’accroître. En effet, il s’efforce de le donner aux autres, celui qui jouit du bonheur ou du bien. Lorsque tu fouleras pour de bon aux pieds ton propre moi et que tu vivra pour les autres, c’est alors que tu sera l’instrument qu’il faut entre le mains de Dieu. Il a appelé – Il appelle – ses disciples, et Il leur commande : “ut eatis!” (“allez en chercher d’autres !”) – St Josémaria, Forge, 914
Tout dépend de ta volonté, Seigneur, et rien ne peut lui résister : c’est Toi qui as fait le ciel et la terre et les merveilles qu’ils contiennent. Tu es le Maître de l’univers. (Est 13, 9. 10-11)
Dans Ton amour inépuisable, Dieu éternel et tout-puissant, tu combles celles et ceux qui t’implorent, bien au-delà de leurs mérites et de leurs désirs ; répands sur nous Ta miséricorde en délivrant notre conscience de ce qui l’inquiète et en donnant plus que nous n’osons demander. Par Jésus Christ, notre Seigneur, qui règne avec Toi, pour les siècles des siècles. Amen.
Le Seigneur est bon pour celles et ceux qui se tournent vers Lui, pour celles et ceux qui le recherchent. (Lm 3, 25)
Sérénité. Pourquoi te mettre en colère, si ta colère offense Dieu, agace ton prochain, te fait passer un mauvais quart d’heure… et si, à la fin, il faut que tu te calmes ? Ce que tu dis, dis-le sur un autre ton, sans irritation ; ton raisonnement y gagnera en force et, surtout, tu n’offenseras pas Dieu. Ne réprimande pas sous le coup de l’indignation de la faute commise. Attends le lendemain, ou plus longtemps encore. Puis, une fois apaisé et ton intention purifiée, ne manque pas de faire ton observation. Tu obtiendras davantage par un mot d’affection qu’en trois heures de dispute. Maîtrise ton tempérament. – St Josémaria, Chemin, 8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“You only do I love, my God. You only do I wish to seek and to follow; I am ready to follow You alone. I wish to be entirely at Your disposal. I beg You to order and command whatever You will, but cure me, open my eyes, that I may see Your slightest gesture. Cure me completely, that I may recognize You. Tell me which way to turn my attention in order to see You; and I hope that I shall be able to do all that You command me” (St Augustine).
“Lord God, our Father, Life by which all live, without which everything would be as dead, do not abandon me to evil thoughts and to pride; take away from me all concupiscence and do not give me as prey to an irreverent and foolish spirit; but take possession of my heart, that I may always think of You…. Help me now, my Redeemer, I beseech You, so that I will not fall before my enemies, caught in the snares which they set for my feet to abase my soul; but save me, strength of my salvation, that I may not become a laughing-stock to Your enemies who hate You. Rise, O Lord, my God, my strength, and Your enemies will be dispersed; those who hate You will flee before Your face.
“As wax melts in the fire, so do sinners vanish before Your face. I shall hide myself in You, and rejoice with Your children, satiated with all Your good things. And You, O Lord God, Father of orphans, protecting Mother, spread your wings, that under them we may take refuge from our enemies” (St Augustine).
I entrust myself to You, my God and Saviour! I wish, particularly in times of struggle, to take refuge in You with redoubled confidence, for “You are my defense and will deliver me from the nets of the fowler and from all misfortune. You will cover me with Your wings and I shall be safe. Your fidelity will surround me like a shield, and I shall fear neither the terrors of the night nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the plague that roams in darkness, nor the attacks of the noonday devil. You are my hope, Lord; You are my refuge, O Most High! You have commanded Your angels to watch over all my paths, and they will bear me in their hands lest my feet strike against a stone” (cf Psalm 91: 3-12).
Coming closer to God means being ready to be converted anew, to change direction again, to listen attentively to his inspirations – those holy desires he places in our souls – and to put them into practice. – St Josemaria, The Forge, 32
We are at the beginning of Lent: a time of penance, purification and conversion. It is not an easy program, but then Christianity is not an easy way of life. It is not enough just to be in the Church, letting the years roll by. In our life, in the life of Christians, our first conversion — that unique moment which each of us remembers, when we clearly understood everything the Lord was asking of us — is certainly very significant. But the later conversions are even more important, and they are increasingly demanding. To facilitate the work of grace in these conversions, we need to keep our soul young; we have to call upon our Lord, know how to listen to him and, having found out what has gone wrong, know how to ask his pardon.
“If you call upon me, I will listen to you,” we read in this Sunday’s liturgy. Isn’t it wonderful how God cares for us and is always ready to listen to us — waiting for man to speak? He hears us at all times, but particularly now. Our heart is ready and we have made up our minds to purify ourselves. He hears us and will not disregard the petition of a “humble and contrite heart.”
– St Josemaria, Christ is Passing, 57
Conversion is the task of a moment; sanctification is the work of a lifetime. The divine seed of charity, which God has sown in our souls, wants to grow, to express itself in action, to yield results which continually coincide with what God wants. Therefore, we must be ready to begin again, to find again — in new situations — the light and the stimulus of our first conversion. And that is why we must prepare with a deep examination of conscience, asking our Lord for his help, so that we’ll know him and ourselves better. If we want to be converted again, there’s no other way. – St Josemaria, Christ is Passing, 58, 9
The power of God is made manifest in our weakness and it spurs us on to fight, to battle against our defects, although we know that we will never achieve total victory during our pilgrimage on earth. The Christian life is a continuous beginning again each day. It renews itself over and over. – St Josemaria, Christ is Passing, 114, 2
Forward, no matter what happens! Cling tightly to Our Lord’s hand and remember that God does not lose battles. If you should stray from him for any reason, react with the humility that will lead you to begin again and again; to play the role of the prodigal son every day, and even repeatedly during the 24 hours of the same day; to correct your contrite heart in Confession, which is a real miracle of God’s Love. In this wonderful Sacrament Our Lord cleanses your soul and fills you with joy and strength to prevent you from giving up the fight, and to help you keep returning to God unwearied, when everything seems black. In addition, the Mother of God, who is also our Mother, watches over you with motherly care, guiding your every step. – St Josemaria, Friends of God, 214, 5
Your interior life has to be just that: to begin … and to begin again. – St Josemaria, The Way, 292