A Word of Encouragement

Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 12 August 2018 - 13:58:23 | by admin

It is clear that many concerned Catholics around the world are driving considerable distances on Sundays to get to Traditional Latin Masses, or else to the most reverent and orthodox Mass that they can reasonably reach.

At the same time, there are many more who wish that they could do so, but find that their circumstances of health, finances or locality, and sometimes a combination of all three, make this either very difficult or even impossible for them to accomplish.

Then, too, there are still others who work hard to arrange and support regular Traditional Masses in their region, but who would like to have even more, at the very least on every Sunday of the month, available.

At times, the distances involved, the obstacles which must be overcome, the resistance which can be met, or the factors which may even prevent regular attendance for some, can lead to discouragement, overtiredness or considerable financial burdens.

I was thinking of these people and issues over the weekend and I wanted to simply encourage all who read this blog today with a reminder that Our Blessed Lord, Who sees the hearts and intentions of all of us, is never outdone in generosity.

He understands the problems, knows the costs, and cares infinitely for all who are trying their level best, often in the midst of testing circumstances, to follow and remain faithful to Him.

Indeed, these circumstances themselves can be the royal road of the Cross, which He is permitting for us as the way for us to be purified and to work out our salvation with the aid of His grace.

Such hardships and even thwarted desires to follow Him at the Traditional Latin Mass can even be offered up and thus become salvific themselves.

The key is not to become discouraged.

The enemy of souls can work to exploit discouragement, or to unbalance the wholesome spirituality of those who are doing their very best to keep the Faith in these times.

Let us not become discouraged, but rather let us learn to trust ever more deeply in Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

We can be sure that He is already lavishing grace upon us, if we are at all concerned about remaining faithful in these times. If we even want to honour Him with reverence and interior prayer, this is already a sign of His presence and grace at work in our hearts.

This is because His grace always precedes, accompanies and goes ahead of us in our walk with Him.

As a good old Irish priest used to say to me, many years ago, in Confession: ''The very fact that you are kneeling there now, saying sorry to God, shows that He is looking after and leading you.''

It is as the great St. Augustine of Hippo taught in his classical De natura et gratia: ''Indeed, we also work, but we are only collaborating with God Who works, for His mercy has gone before us. It has gone before us so that we may be healed, and follows us so that once healed we may be given life; it goes before us so that we may be called, and follows us so that we may be glorified; it goes before us so that we may live devoutly, and follows us so that we may always live with God; for without Him, we can do nothing.''    
These are words which can encourage all who may be driving considerable distances today for God; or even those who wish they were; and perhaps even for those who wish that they did not have to!

Today is the 12th Sunday after Pentecost in the Traditional Calendar.

Perhaps we could conclude with the heartening words of the Collect prayer for today's Traditional Latin Mass.

Collect: Almighty and Merciful God, of Whose gift it cometh that Thy faithful people do unto Thee due and praiseworthy service: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may run without stumbling to the attainment of Thy promises. Through Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest with Thee, and the Holy Ghost, One God, forever and ever, world without end. Amen.

Keep the Faith, friends!

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