Thursday, January 25, 2007


1. A Christian cannot be satisfied with mediocrity. He must strive for perfection. This is the command of Jesus. You therefore are to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect (Mt. 5:48). The same counsel is given in the Old Testament. You shall make and keep yourselves holy, because I am holy (Lev. 11:44). The Apostles had the habit of referring to all the Christians of their time as holy. For instance, St. Paul addresses the faithful of the church of Ephesus in this way (Eph. 1:1), while St. Peter describes the Christian community as a holy nation, a purchased people (I Peter, 2:9).

We cannot be content with half-hearted efforts, but must work hard to become holy. I come, says Jesus, that they may have life, and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Some day we shall either be saints in Heaven or among the damned in Hell. Whoever is satisfied with mediocrity betrays the mssion of Christ. He returns ingratitude for His infinite goodness and squanders His divine grace.

2. There is no such thing as half-way virtue.

Virtue is a struggle and a sacrifice. It presupposes a generous heart which gives itself to Jesus without reserve. Did He not give Himself completely for our sakes? Did He not die upon the cross for our salvation and reopen Heaven, which had been closed to us by sin? Moreover, did He not remain hidden in our midst under the Eucharistic speices in order to become our sustenance and our support?

When we are faced with such goodness and generosity, can we be so niggardly as to offer God only a part of ourselves and perhaps a part which is worthless and perishable, as CAin did when he offered sacrifices from his fields and flocks? God would certainly turn away from us and refuse our gift. And then we should be lost for ever.

3. Mediocrity in the spiritual life inevitably paves the way for sin. Indifference at prayer, listlessness in practicing charity, and habitual neglect of our duties in life lead first to deliberate venial sin and finally to mortal sin. If we are not generous with Jesus, Jesus will cease to be generous with us. He will no longer shower us with His graces. Deprived of this heavenly dew, our souls will grow dry and incapable of producing fruits worthy of eternal life.

Let us get rid of any tendencies toward lassitude. Let us revive the divine charity in ourselves. Let us make firmer resolutions and pray more fervently that the grace of God will make us capable of greater effort.

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