Text of St Josemaria

Wherever we may be, Our Lord urges us to be vigilant. His plea should lead us to hope more strongly in our desires for holiness and to translate them into deeds. “Give me your heart, my son” (Prov 23:26), he seems to whisper in our ear. Stop building castles in the air. Make up your mind to open your soul to God, for only in Our Lord will you find a real basis for your hope and for doing good to others. If we don’t fight against ourselves; if we don’t rebuff once and for all the enemies lodged within our interior fortress — pride, envy, the concupiscence of the flesh and of the eyes, self‑sufficiency, and the wild craving for licentiousness; if we abandon this inner struggle, our noblest ideals will wither “like the bloom on the grass; and when the scorching sun comes up the grass withers, and the bloom falls, and all its fair show dies away”. Then, all you need is a tiny crevice and discouragement and gloom will creep in, like encroaching poisonous weeds.

Jesus is not satisfied with a wavering assent. He expects, and has a right to expect, that we advance resolutely, unyielding in the face of difficulties. He demands that we take firm, specific steps; because, as a rule, general resolutions are just fallacious illusions, created to silence the divine call which sounds within our hearts. They produce a futile flame that neither burns nor gives warmth, but dies out as suddenly as it began.

You will convince me that you sincerely want to achieve your goals when I see you go forward unwaveringly. Do good and keep reviewing your basic attitudes to the jobs that occupy you each moment. Practice the virtue of justice, right where you are, in your normal surroundings, even though you may end up exhausted. Foster happiness among those around you by cheerfully serving the people you work with and by striving to carry out your job as perfectly as you can, showing understanding, smiling, having a Christian approach to life. And do everything for God, thinking of his glory, with your sights set high and longing for the definitive homeland, because there is no other goal worthwhile.

– St Josemaria, Friends of God, 211

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The temptation of weariness

I want to warn you against a difficulty that may arise: it is the temptation of weariness and discouragement. Isn’t it still fresh in your memory what life — your old life — used to be like, with no aim to it, no purpose, no sparkle, and then, with God’s light and your own dedication, a new direction was given to it and you were filled with joy? Don’t be so silly as to exchange your new life for that other one.

If you feel for whatever reason that you cannot manage to go on, abandon yourself in God, telling him: Lord, I trust in you, I abandon myself in you, but do help me in my weakness! And filled with confidence, repeat: See Jesus what a filthy rag I am. My life seems to me so miserable. I am not worthy to be a son of yours. Tell him all this ‑‑ and tell him so over and over again. It will not be long before you hear him say, Ne timeas! ‑‑do not be afraid; and also: Surge et ambula! ‑‑ rise up and walk!

You were still rather hesitant when you were telling me: “I am deeply aware of the occasions when the Lord is asking more of me.” All I could think of was to remind you how you used to assure me that the only thing you wanted was to identify yourself with him. What’s keeping you back?

If only you could manage to fulfill that resolution you made: “to die a little to myself each day.”

– St Josemaria, The Forge

Fall in Love, and you will not leave Him

Discouragement is an enemy of your perseverance. If you don’t fight against discouragement you will become pessimistic first, and lukewarm afterwards. Be an optimist.

Oh blessed perseverance of the donkey that turns the water-wheel! Always the same pace. Always the same circles. One day after another: everyday the same. Without that, there would be no ripeness in the fruit, nor blossom in the orchard, nor scent of flowers in the garden. Carry this thought to your interior life.

And what is the secret of perseverance? Love. Fall in Love, and you will not leave him.

– St Josemaria, The Way