“After you have made a decision that is pleasing to God, the devil may try to make you have second thoughts. Intensify your prayer time, meditation, and good deeds. For if Satan’s temptations merely cause you to increase your efforts to grow in holiness, he will have an incentive to leave you alone.” St. Ignatius of Loyola
I work with international students. They are usually very interesting people. As I brought them on a tour of my city, we happened to walk by the cathedral. The question was, “What is that place?” My answer was quick, “That is the cathedral.” They asked me to take them to mass and I immediately agreed. I need to be careful not to proselytize but they asked me to take them. It was a surreal experience as I helped them through the mass. I knew the priest who said mass and it helped a lot. Unfortunately, we went to the sacristy to say hello and some of the parishioners insisted that no one speak to the priest after. Mass is not some club that people attend to be holy. We need to evangelize and even the regular mass goers need it too. I certainly do. Numbers have not really recovered since COVID in my city, but we need to keep trying. It is no easy task, but we need to return to simplicity, to holiness and humility.
“The three most important virtues are: humility, humility, humility.” St Bernard of Clairvaux
The church where I attend morning mass during the week had no reader for a few days. I offered to jump in and cover for the person who was away. Sometimes, these small events tell us that we need to work harder and help God in such circumstances. We are his instrument. We need to be ready for whatever he sends our way. I remember when I had finished university and I applied for work. Many places interviewed me, and I had several offers. How did I decide? It was a tough time and once I decided, I had to find a place to live. I accepted counsel from strong people who were ahead of me. It is only in humility that allows us to listen to sage advice. I would submit that we can serve our Lord more if we are humble.
“Gratitude is the first sign of a thinking, rational creature.” Blessed Solanus Casey
When beautiful events happen around me, I need to be reminded of the Lord’s goodness to me. It is easy for me to forget. We have hosted an international student all summer. It has been quite interesting to watch this person grow and mature as he learns many things that are happening to him. He is grateful for this experience and as it comes to an end, he will be able to look back and try to understand what God was trying or maybe is trying to tell him. We cannot be much more than an instrument. We did not do anything special or extra for this person. We simply were ourselves. We also had much to learn from this person too. Again, only in humility do we learn from others. We need to be aware and pray constantly for the awareness that God asks of us. It is this awareness that will help us grow in holiness.
“Great occasions for serving God come seldom, but little ones surround us daily.” St. Francis de Sales
It has been a life-long experience trying to serve the Lord. He never promised us an easy life, but he promised to be with us. I have only found that serving Him in the circumstances that are presented to me, even the difficult ones, are there to help me grow in my faith. Recently, I had a conversation with my friends in the Carmelite Convent near my home. They told me to pray for the possibility of several new vocations. This is God at work. And, we can only be available to His will. I want to live an awareness each day, each moment and in every circumstances.
Love God, Serve God; Everything is in that.” St. Clare of Assisi