Sunday, February 22, 2009

Road of Hope - Chapter 3

Anybody can begin but only the saints can keep going right to the end

39. To be fearless means that you must not wander about aimlessly. If you desire to reach the end of this Road of hope, you have to be fearless. How many people were there standing beside our Lord at the foot of the Cross.

40. Do not be afraid to talk to our Lord about everyhing you desire. Think of these words of our Lord." Until now, you have not been making any requests in my name; make them and they will be granted." (John16:24). To be fearless is to love just as a child loves its father.

41. Do not be discouragedd by failures. If you are seeking to do the will of God and meet with failure, that failure may be in God's eyes success, for that is the way God wants it. Look at the example of Jesus on the Cross.

42. Results and success are two different things. There may be no outward signs of results, but instead, an increase in experience, an increase in humility, an increase in your faith in God, and that is your success from a supernatural point of view.

43. There is only one failure and that is not to hope in God. "Hope in God and you will not be disappointed." (cf.Ps.22:5).

44. Do not be a fitful saint; a storm will wipe away externals and reveal the inner reality of sinfulness behind the appearances.

45. The virtuous person radiates a sweet perfume quietly and unobstrusively.

46. Be loyal as you go along the road you are travelling. Peter did not betray our Lord, nor did he accuse our Lord, but on the other hand he did not ackowledge or spport our Lord by even a single word. "I know nothing of the man" (Matt.26:72) he said, seeking to remain safe and avoid being implicated. Peter lost hope in our Lord as the Way and fled from him.

47. You are trembling with fear, you stumble and fall, you met with difficulties misunderstandings, criticisms, disgrace, even a sentence of death. Why do you forgot the gospel? Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered everything. But, if you continue to follow him, you will have your Easter too.

48. Every morning when you get up you start life again, fresh and energetic and full of optimism. if the road runs badly, still continue to go along with our Lord just like the disciples on the road to Emmaus and you will reach the goal.

49. Perseverance is the characteristic of the saints, because "He who endures to the last will be saved." (Matt.10:22).

50. If everybody else should fall by the wayside on the journey, you must still keep pressing forward. People in large numbers are easily seduced. A leader who guides wisely is rare indeed. You have to have the character not to follow the crowd blindly.

51. Although you might feel worn out or less enthusiastic, keep up your spirit. The dark cloud will pass by and not keep blocking out sunlight. Just wait for the cloud to pass over.

52. Do not say, "I have lost inspiration." Why do you work as a result of inspiration? The work of God is in no way comparable to writing poetry. Work because of love and a knoowledge of the fact that you will never lose the love of God.

53. The good thief achieved happiness because of his hope in the love og God; Judas was wretched because he despaired of this love of God.(cf.Matt.27:5, Luke23:42-43).

54. In the darkest hour of desolation Jesus cried out:" My God, my God, Why have you forsaken me?" (Matt.27:46). At that moment there stood by the cross his mother Mary. She was silent, but her steadfast love was great enough to support her son until he said. "it is achieved." (John19:30).

55. The body of the son of the widow of Naim was being carried out for burial.(Cf.Luke7:12) and the body of the dead Lazarus was already stinking in the grave.(Cf.John11:39_ but our Lord could still call both to rise from the dead. Have hope and humbly repent of our sins; Our Lord will raise you up also.

56. Everyday you must decrease your self-centredness and increase your love of the neighbour. Everyday lessen your reliance on self and instead increase your trust in God.

57. If you are not determined to persevere, you cannot say ,"I am meek," but rather, "I am a coward."

58. You keep complaining, " If only I were to be in this particlar place, to work with that person, to hold that particular office, surely I would be wonderfully successful."
No! Do the work which Our Lord has entrusted to you. You are in the place where he has placed you. Go straight ahead. If you bustle about in all directions you will not reach the end.

59. In your soul there are two persons: John and Judas. Whenever you are striving to persevere, you are following the loyal, faithful John. Whenever you cowardly give up the struggle, you are choosing Judas as your patron and you are burning incense to worship that patron of traitors.

60. But you say, "Too difficult!" This is true. Only something acquired by effort is really worthwhile.

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