"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Constant Struggle by the Priests of the Congregation of St. Paul, 1893

The Constant Struggle 
by the Priests of the Congregation of St. Paul, 1893

"Be prudent, therefore, and watch in prayers."--St. Peter iv. 7.

What a happiness many Christians have at the Easter-time through Confession and Communion, and how desirable it is that this happiness should continue! I will tell you how to be always thus happy. 
Wage a constant warfare against your evil passions; for sin is the only thing that can deprive you of the joy which you now have. But you will say, " It is hard to be always striving." I answer, that the victorious in any contest do not notice the labor which their triumph costs. Defeat is what makes warfare painful. For your consolation, remember that you have only to be resolute and arm yourself with God's grace, which is given most abundantly, and defeat is impossible. God has provided help for you in all possible difficulties. He will not abandon you unless you throw down your arms. You have already gained much in obtaining God's friendship. Your hardest fight was when you were doing penance to get this friendship. What a pity it would be to throw away what has cost you so much labor!

"Be prudent, therefore," and do not let yourselves be ensnared again by evil. Consider the great happiness which you now have, and compare it with your great misery when you were indanger of being lost for ever. Experience is a great teacher, and it is folly not to profit by it.

See how it has been with you. When you consented to sin you were cheated by a pleasure that you found to be unreal, you had to suffer an hour of pain for every moment of gratification, and your soul was agitated, depressed, and sorrowful. Besides, in this unhappy state you deserved only everlasting pains.

Now that you have the happiness of being in God's favor, how you ought to strive not to lose it! Show your prudence by "watching in prayers." Since the Paschal Communion have you watched yourself? or have the old habits of neglect once more begun to appear? Have those morning and evening prayers been omitted? Watch. These are the beginnings which prepare the way for a fall into sin. Your prayers are your chief defence. God's assistance is continually necessary for all, and it is granted through prayer.

The assistance of God continues while the habit of prayer lasts, but no longer. Pray, and all will be well with you. If you do not pray, nothing can save you. Watch for your failings in the duty of prayer, and continually repair and correct them. No temptation can move one who is faithful to prayer. Such a one's salvation is infallibly certain. If you do not pray, you are without excuse, because all, even the greatest sinners, can pray. It is a maxim of the spiritual life that one who is faithful in prayer is faithful in all things. Prayer cures all the disorders of the soul, diminishes one's daily faults, takes away the temporal punishment due to sin, increases one's merits, and finally conducts to Paradise.