Monday, 17 January 2022

17 January, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

The Vicissitudes of Life

1. There are times when life is like a stream which flows peacefully between two flower-strewn grassbanks. The sun shines brightly overhead and the whole world seems to smile. The days pass pleasantly and the future is full of fair promise. Virtue itself seems to flower effortlessly in our hearts. But God grants these intervals of rest during our earthly voyage so that we may renew our energy.

Life is a battle. Therefore we have to be armed and ready and always on the alert. (Job 7:1) "Wait here and watch." (Mt. 26:38) We must resolve to be prepared from the earliest hour of the morning to face the difficulties and temptations which can arise at any moment. We must be armed with the weapons of the spirit which we can easily obtain if we live all the time in the presence of God. If we fail to acquire this habit of spiritual watchfulness, the trials and temptations of the day will catch us off our guard and there is a danger that we may yield.

2. There are three kinds of trials which we have to expect:

(a) Suffering in the guise of illness or accidents.
(b) The insults, lack of understanding, and ingratitude of our fellowmen.
(c) Temptations and the allurements of sin.

We must make a spiritual preparation at the beginning of every day and surrender ourselves with filial confidence into the hands of God. Sorrow, illness and misfortune may come. Let us offer ourselves to God in our morning prayer. Like Jesus and with Jesus, let us bow beneath the cross which is laid upon us. Perhaps men will insult us and misunderstand us. Let us accept all this resignation and love for God and our neighbour, whoever he may be. In this we shall be like our Divine Redeemer Who, when He was nailed to the cross, not only forgave but prayed to His Eternal Father for those who had crucified Him. The enchantment of sin may disturb the peace and purity of the soul. In this matter especially we must prepare to resist from the very beginning of the day. We must intercede with God, fervently renew our resolutions, and turn our attention when necessary to other worthwhile thoughts and activities. Let us never panic, but place our trust in God. He will enable us to conquer.

3. Let this be our resolution and the result of our meditation. When we are tempted to sin, especially against holy purity, let us resist immediately and take flight. When we encounter misunderstanding on the part of others, or even coldness or calumny or injustice, let us not be depressed or annoyed. The only thing which should concern us is the evidence of our conscience before God. Offer everything else to God -- joy or sorrow, praise or blame, honour or humiliation. Ask only for His grace. If we have that, we shall have peace of mind as well.

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