The end of an old year makes one hear the injunction God gave Moses: " You will not tread that way again." Though time indeed cannot be turned back, the faults and failings of time are not fixed and unalterable. Divine Padon can make them non-existent. Magdalenes can have fires that burned inward changed into fires that burn upward; Paul's who hate can learn to burn with zeal. The essence of the Gospel is the blessing of the second chance."
Bishop Fulton Sheen
At times we tend to see our Saints as skating through life and fail to realise that they are just like us, struggling at times inconsistent and also doubtful. The Saints were not born 'saintly' it is a choice they made daily to live holy lives, to choose virtue over vice and to face the struggles within themselves and outside of themselves. What they did not allow to happen was to be overcome by adversity, instead they turned adversity into a challenge in that they could see and recognise the hand of God at work.
For some examples Vincent de Paul intended to become a 'professional Priest' he was more intuned to climb the priestly ladder of success than to be one with the poor and downcast. As we know God had other plans for Vincent and with the co-operation of this most compassionate Saint we see what true charity is. Edith Stein through her teens did not believe in God and instead relied on her intellect alone to solve the deepest issues which affects all men. Her study of philosophy and her vast intelligence was no encumbrance to God and He moved within the soul of Edith and convicted her of the Truth through the works of that great spiritual master, Teresa of Avila. God moved Edith to her very depths, for at the core of Edith was a love of the unvarnished and naked Truth. Edith not only grew to love God she was also converted to the Catholic faith thereby shaking the very foundations of her whole life as she left her Jewish roots and embraced Catholicism.
We also see through the words of Bishop Fulton Sheen the 'God of the Second Chance'. What this essentially means is that no matter what wrong or even sinful choices we make in life we are not beyond His Mercy, nor are we far from His sight. That leaves us no excuse to continue a wrongful pattern, for God through the Sacraments of the Church restores and makes all things new not for His sake but for ours.
Through these words we can see that there is nothing stopping us from reaching the spiritual heights enjoyed by our Saints. The only thing that stands in our way is not God and it is also not the Devil what stops us, is us. God will not interfere with our free will and neither can the devil intervene with our free will, our will is entirely our own and so is the choices we make.
What sets the Saints aside is their acknowledgement that in and of themselves they are nothing and all the work they had done if it does not include the Triune Spirit is valueless. It also shows us what God can do when a soul surrenders themselves to His Divine Love.
The question is are we courageous enough to accept this challenge? Or do we stay safe? That is for you to decide.
Romans Chapter 12:1-3, 21
"I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect. For by the grace given to me I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than one ought to think, but to think soberly, each according to the measure of faith that God has apportioned...Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good."
'Simple Truths' by Bishop Fulton Sheen
Peace of Christ to you ALL
Copyright © 2006 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.