Friends-good morning. In Eucharistic Adoration this week I read a meditation from In Conversation With God, by Francis Fernandez, which absolutely got my attention. Here is an excerpt which I hope will resonate with you and make you reflect on your actions as it has with me.
EXCERPT FROM In Conversation with God, by Francis Fernandez, Section 83.3 (Volume 3) The need to have an interior life
“As men we can be a cause of happiness or of sadness, of light or of darkness. We can be the source of peace or of anxiety, either the leaven that enhances or a dead weight that hinders the progress of others. Our passage over this earth can never be a matter of indifference as far as others are concerned. We help others to find Christ or we separate them from Him. We enrich others or we impoverish them.
And we come across so many of these others-friends, workmates, members of our family, neighbors…who seem to go after material goods as though they hungered for them, material goods that only serve to lure them away from their true Good who is Jesus Christ. They journey through life like men who are lost. If the guide of the blind did not to become blind himself, (Matt 15:14), it is not enough for him to know the way from hearsay or from coming across mere references to it.
If we are able to help the people around us, it is not enough for us to have a vague and superficial knowledge of the way. We need to walk along it ourselves and to have a first-hand knowledge of the obstacles that lie in our path and have to be surmounted. We need to have an interior life, to enter daily into personal conversation with Jesus. We need to know His doctrine ever more deeply; to struggle with still more determination to overcome our own defects. The apostolate is the result of a great love for Christ.
“The first Christians were true salt of the earth, and they preserved people and institutions — the whole of society-from corruption. What can it be that has happened in so many nations? Why is it that Christians should now be giving the sad impression that they are unable to slow down and halt the wave of corruption that is bursting in on the family, on schools and on institutions…? The Faith is still the same. And Christ lives among us now just as He did previously. His power is still infinite-divine.
Only the lukewarmness of so many thousands, indeed millions, of Christians, explains how we can offer to the world the spectacle of a Christianity that allows all kinds of heresies and stupidities to be propounded within itself. Lukewarmness destroys the strength and endurance of the Faith, and is the soulmate, in both a personal and a collective way, of compromise and of a spirit of comfort-seeking (from P. Rodriguez, Faith and Life of Faith). It is difficult to explain many of the things that happen nowadays at a personal and at a public level, if we do not bear in mind that so many people who should be awake, watchful and attentive have allowed their Faith to fall asleep; love has been snuffed out in so very many hearts.
In many spheres, the normal, the ‘normal Christian’ now generally means someone who is lukewarm and mediocre. Among the first Christians, the ‘normal Christian’ meant one who lived the heroism of each day, and when the occasion presented itself, accepted martyrdom itself: it could and did mean very often the surrender of one’s very life in defense of the Faith.
“When love grows cold and faith falls asleep, the salt loses its savor and is no longer good for anything. It is just something to throw away. What a pity if a Christian were to become as useless as this! Lukewarmness is often the cause of apostolic ineffectiveness, because if we are I its grip the little we do becomes a task devoid of human or supernatural attractiveness, and bereft of a spirit of sacrifice. Faith that appears moribund and radiates little love is unable to win anyone over or find the right words with which to attract others to a deep and intimate relationship with Christ.
“Let us fervently ask God for the strength to react. We will be true salt of the earth if we keep our daily conversation with God and if we go with ever greater faith and love to receive the Holy Eucharist. Love was, and is, the moving force in the life of the saints. It is the whole raison d’être of every life dedicated to God. Love gives us wings with which to soar over any personal barriers to our advance, or any obstacles presented to us by our surroundings. Love makes us unyielding when confronted by setbacks. Lukewarmness gives up at the slightest difficulty (a letter we should write, a telephone call we should make, a visit, a conversation, the lack of some material means…). It makes mountains out of molehills. Love for God, on the other hand, makes a molehill out of a mountain; it transforms the soul, gives it new lights and opens up new horizons for it…”
This really made me think and reflect today! I hope you find it meaningful and helpful.