Nicholas Wiseman: He Came Down from Heaven as Our Divine Physician Saturday, Aug 13 2011 

Reflect how unreasonable it would be for a man, grievously sick, to send for a physician, and express his eager desire to be restored to health, and kept in it, and yet obstinately to resist every measure proposed, and refuse to take such remedies as the physician had been at the pains to prepare for him with his own hands.

[…] Precisely such, or worse, is our conduct as regards our sanctification, if we neglect to use frequently and well the sacraments which Jesus Christ has left us for that end.

He came down from heaven as our Divine physician; He knows all our weaknesses, sores, and ailments;  He has studied our case most minutely, and through His own painful experience;  He has made up for us sovereign remedies, in which His own Blood is the principal ingredient.

These remedies He offers to us in the sacrament of Penance.

Can we indeed be said to dislike and lament our state of illness, or to desire seriously our recovery, so long as we neglect to apply to that means of cure?

Further, our Lord has laid up in the Most Holy Sacrament of His Body and Blood a rich and inexhaustible store of blessings and graces, pledges and instruments of eternal life.

Can we be said to desire earnestly the sanctification they are designed to bestow, if we are slothful, negligent, or cold in the use of that adorable institution to which they are attached?

Such, then, are the sacraments left by our Lord for the sanctification of His followers; and they are precisely such as are best adapted for the purpose.

For, first, the great impediment to our sanctification is our constant frailty, which by daily and hourly falls prevents the grace of God from fully possessing our souls, and reigning therein sovereign and supreme.

What could we hope for, unless God, in His mercy, had prepared for us a saving remedy, accessible to us as often as we need it; wherein our offences are forgiven, and their consequences repaired in our souls?

But besides this repeated diminution of strength by accidents, there is a constant evaporation and wearing out of our vigour, by our contact with the world, by the action of our passions and earthly desires, and by the very inertness of our mortal natures, which cannot long together keep steadily to what is good.

[…] God…hath given us a strengthening bread, a succulent nourishment, which confirms and consolidates the spiritual man, and pours new vigour into his soul, and restores all its wasted energy.

How then can we hope spiritually to live that is, to be in a state of grace or sanctification if we have not frequent recourse to this banquet, ever spread for us, in which grace and holiness ever dwell?

Nicholas Cardinal Wiseman (1802–1865): Daily Meditations, pp. 301-302.

Nicholas Wiseman: Overcoming Our Characteristic Faults And Weaknesses Wednesday, Oct 20 2010 

We must we not acknowledge that we allow ourselves to be almost hourly surprised into such-and-such faults which each of us knows in himself?

It is evident that these failings therefore find a congenial soil in our hearts, and have taken deep root there.

It is plain that they are greatly in the way of our doing the good we desire.

They are our constant stumbling-blocks in the performance of our duties; we find them ever in the way, interfering with our best directed intentions.

They are a source of increasing perplexity; they thrust themselves so unexpectedly and unbidden into our mind as to leave us in anxious doubt whether or not they have been the motive of actions otherwise good and well-intentioned.

They are the cause of endless regrets. Every evening we have to regret having in some way yielded to them; every week we have to bewail and confess them as a perpetual distemper.

How much better it will be for us now to set about in earnest and thoroughly to bring them into subjection, and put an end to their annoyance.

Reflect how acceptable a sacrifice you will make to God in destroying this constant obstacle to His graces.

Though probably trifling in itself, it will be more valuable in His eyes than others of greater absolute magnitude.

For, in reality, such apparently small things are often more difficult; as the husbandman finds it more difficult to clear his field of weeds and small brambles than to get rid of trees or larger shrubs.

Hence we often can more easily overcome a grievous temptation than an annoying inclination which seems far remote from sin.

God, on the other hand, loves to see us prove our obedience, our affection, and our love of purity of soul by sacrifices which, while they exclude all danger of pride by their insignificance, yet cost us considerable diligence and pains.

Besides, the sacrifice will be more acceptable, inasmuch as it will be a work of perseverance, and an aim at perfection and closer union with Him, and will enable Him to increase the abundance of His graces and favours.

Nicholas Cardinal Wiseman (1802–1865): Daily Meditations, pp. 62-63.

Nicholas Wiseman: Christ Puts the Fire Glowing with Love and Holiness into our Cold Hearts Tuesday, Sep 28 2010 

Reflect, that in our fallen and weak state some means of constant reparation was necessary to counteract our daily loss of grace and fervour, too apt to evaporate of themselves, and still more to be diminished and dried up by our hourly negligences and transgressions.

Prayer, meditation, the Word of God, and many other resources were indeed at hand, ready for our use.

But then all these depended for their efficacy upon ourselves, on our fervour and diligence, and were subject to the failings which rendered renovation of spirit and grace most necessary.

The mercy of God soon found the remedy in the institution of the blessed Eucharist, in which the efficacy lies in the Holy Sacrament itself, containing, as it does, the sacred Body and Blood of our ever blessed Redeemer.

He knew how cold our hearts habitually are, and, therefore, instead of telling us to draw nigh unto His warmth, that of it we might partake, He puts the whole fire glowing with love and holiness into our very bosoms, that it may heat us through and through.

He knew that we are at every moment thirsty and faint, and He did not content Himself with calling to us, as Isaias, “all ye who thirst come unto me”, but He placed in the midst of each of us the fountain of living waters springing up unto eternal life.

He knew that we were languid and torpid in all good, and He transfused into our very hearts the principle of life and energy, and all power.

Truly there is in this dealing of God with us an immensity of graciousness, a freeness of communication, such as man’s limited conceptions of goodness never could have reached, and such as will be the wonder and admiration of blessed spirits for all eternity.

Here then we have a daily food, able fully to supply the wear occasioned to the spiritual man by the world and his corrupt nature; and this food no other than the Body and Blood of God’s incarnate Son.

Nicholas Cardinal Wiseman (1802–1865): Daily Meditations, pp. 34-35.