Beware of being severe on those who lead careless lives, or whom you think or know to be ill-treating you. Do not dwell on such matters. Turn your mind away from them.

[…] Anyone who attempts to resist the world, or to do other good things by his own strength, will be sure to fall. We can do good things, but it is when God gives us power to do them.

Therefore we must pray to Him for the power. When we are brought into temptation of any kind, we should lift up our hearts to God. We should say to Him, “Good Lord, deliver us.”

Our Lord, when He was going away, promised to His disciples a Comforter instead of Himself; that was God the Holy Ghost, who is still among us (though we see Him not), as Christ was with the Apostles.

He has come in order to enlighten us, to guide us in the right way, and in the end to bring us to Christ in heaven.

And He came down, as His name “Comforter” shows, especially to stand by, and comfort, and strengthen those who are in any trouble, particularly trouble from irreligious men.

The disciples, when Christ went, had to go through much trouble, and therefore He comforted them by the coming of the Holy and Eternal Spirit, the Third Person in the Blessed Trinity. “These things I have spoken unto you,” He says, “that in Me ye might have peace; in the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

When, then, religious persons are in low spirits, or are any way grieved at the difficulties which the world puts in their way, when they earnestly desire to do their duty, yet feel how weak they are, let them recollect that they are “not their own,” but “bought with a price,” and the dwelling-places and temples of the All-gracious Spirit.

[…] None of us, even the best, have resisted the world as we ought to have done. … Let us search our consciences; let us look back on our past lives.

Let us try to purify and cleanse our hearts in God’s sight. Let us try to live more like Christians, more like children of God.

Let us earnestly beg of God to teach us more simply and clearly what our duty is. Let us beg of Him to give us the heart to love Him, and true repentance for what is past.

Let us beg Him to teach us how to confess Him before men; lest if we deny Him now, He may deny us before the Angels of God hereafter.

John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890): Parochial and Plain Sermons, vol. 8, 13: Endurance of the World’s Censure.

Advertisements