Thank God for the opportunities to serve in life. Giving to the ungrateful. Waiting on the impatient. These things are what make you stronger spiritually, and more compassionate in life. In many ways, our salvation depends on such opportunities. As hard as they can be, always thank God for them.
All difficulties in prayer have just one cause: praying as though God were not there.
“For Christians, God is not simply ‘out there’ like a mountain waiting to be climbed by the intrepid spiritual mountaineer; rather, God is himself a pursuer, hunting us down with relentless love. I might shift the image a bit and suggest that God is not only behind us in pursuit, but also ahead of us in allurement, like a mother urging her child to take his first steps. Alfred North Whitehead argued that God is the great displayer of possibilities for his universe, the one who arranges and rearranges persons, objects, and events in the hopes hat his creation might come to richer and more creative expression. And therefore Christians [should] confidently and enthusiastically look. They know that God is luring them and so they hunt for signs. This process of watching and listening is an ancient ecclesial practice called ‘discernment.’”
-Fr. Robert Barron
It is no use looking at these historical facts and figures in the ordinary way. We must shut our eyes and cease to reason as the world tells if we wish to see the divine mysteries of these affairs.
[Our spiritual fathers] knew only that each moment brought a duty which must be faithfully fulfilled. Those spiritually inclined needed nothing more. They were like the hands on a clock which, minute by minute, crosses it’s appointed space, for, ceaselessly prompted by divine grace, they attend without thinking to each new task offered by God at every hour of the day.
We are now living in a time of faith. The Holy Spirit writes no more gospels except in our hearts. All we do from moment to moment is live this new gospel of the Holy Spirit. We, if we are holy, are the paper; our sufferings and our actions are the ink. The workings of the Holy Spirit are his pen, and with it he writes a living gospel; but it will never be read until that last day of glory when it leaves the printing press of this life.
The life of faith is the untiring pursuit of God through all that disguises and disfigured him and, as it were, destroys and annihilated him. Look at Mary: from the stable to Calvary she stayed close to that God who was despised, rejected, and persecuted.
If we never ceased to live the life of faith, our intercourse with God would never be interrupted and we should talk with him face to face. When we speak it is the air which transmits our thoughts and our words, and so all our actions and our sufferings would be the medium through which we heard the expression of God’s will. They would, as it were, give his Word substance and visible expression, and all that happened to us would be seen as holy and most excellent. God in his glory will give us this union in heaven; here on earth we can enjoy it by faith. The only difference is the way in which it is given to us.
The present moment is always overflowing with immeasurable riches, far more than you are able to hold. Your faith will measure it out to you: as you believe, so will you receive.
Maybe the greatest threat to the Church is not heresy, not dissent, not secularism, not even moral relativism, but this sanitized, feel-good, boutique, therapeutic spirituality that makes no demands, calls for no sacrifice, asks for no conversion, entails no battle against sin, but only soothes and affirms.