Sanctification is the work of a lifetime

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

 

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Prayer of the day

Today is the optional memorial of St Martin de Porres, a religious.

Prayer:  God, who led Saint Martin de Porres by the path of humility to heavenly glory, grant that we may so follow his radiant example in this life as to merit to be exalted with him in heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayers of the day

Today is the optional memorials of St Hedwig, a religious, and St Margaret Mary Alacoque, a virgin.

Prayers

Grant, we pray, almighty God, that the revered intercession of Saint Hedwig may bring us heavenly aid, just as her wonderful life is an example of humility for all. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Pour out on us, we pray, O Lord, the spirit with which you so remarkably endowed Saint Margaret Mary, so that we may come to know that love of Christ which surpasses all understanding and be utterly filled with your fullness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Prayer of the day

Today is the memorial of St Therese of the Child Jesus, virgin and Doctor of the Church.

Prayer: O God, who open your Kingdom to those who are humble and to little ones, lead us to follow trustingly in the little way of Saint Thérèse, so that through her intercession we may see your eternal glory revealed. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Humility

When we humbly accept our dependance on God and each other, and accept our own incompleteness, and imperfection, we are less likely to exclude and judge others who are different than us and who don’t live up to our own expectations, which we honestly don’t live up to ourselves, either. When we begin along that path, then we will have at least begun to understand what it means to be the “greatest” in the eyes of God.

Love God with all your strength

We can learn to love God with all our strength. We can choose to follow Christ and travel the path of spiritual maturity. We can resist temptation and grow in virtue. We can make a difference in the world, building Christ’s kingdom and encouraging others to do the same. If we couldn’t, none of the New Testament letters would have been written, since they all contain passionate encouragement to make practical, daily choices worthy of our Christian calling. If knowing the truth were sufficient for our spiritual growth, and if we were not free to choose to live according to that truth, St Paul, for example, would never have written this: “Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry…Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection…And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:5, 12–14, 17). Then our hearts desire God above all things, and our emotions are joyfully subject to an intellect enlightened by faith and a will strengthened and aligned by grace, we can truly love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, just as Jesus commands.

True humility leads us to ask for forgiveness

If ever you fall, my son, go quickly to Confession and seek spiritual guidance. Show your wound so that it gets properly healed and all possibility of infection is removed, even if doing this hurts you as much as having an operation.

Sincerity is indispensable if we are to achieve greater union with God. If you have an ugly “toad” inside you, my son, let it out! As I have always advised you, the first thing you must mention is what you wouldn’t like anybody to know. Once the “toad” has been let out in Confession ‑‑ how well one feels.

“Blessed be God” you said to yourself after having finished your sacramental Confession. And you thought: it is as if I had just been born again. You then continued calmly: “Domine, quid me vis facere? ‑‑Lord, what would you have me do?” And you yourself came up with the reply: “By the help of your grace I will let nothing and no one come between me and the fulfilment of your most Holy Will: Serviam ‑‑ I will serve you unconditionally.”

Humility teaches each soul not to lose heart in the face of its own blunders. True humility leads us to ask for forgiveness.

If I were a leper my mother would kiss me. She would kiss my wounds without fear or hesitation. Well then, what would the Blessed Virgin Mary do? When we feel we are like lepers, all full of sores, we have to cry out: Mother! And the protection of our Mother will be like a kiss upon our wounds, which will then be healed.

– St Josemaria, The Forge