Monday, July 9, 2007


1. God was perfectly happy in Himself from all eternity and did not need any creature to add to His glory. Nevertheless, in order to diffuse His Power and goodness He created our world in' which is reflected the harmony of His Divine Essence. Even as all things have their origin in Him, they have Him as their final end. He is the eternal harbour towards which all created things flow, even as the rivers roll continually onwards until they reach the peace of the sea. In this vast world of solar systems rotating in the firmament, of mineral and vegetable wealth and of animal creation, you are only a very tiny being who has received everything from God. Nevertheless, you are often convinced that you are important. You glory in your talents as if they belonged to you and were not a gift which God has given to you.

Vanity is a form of theft. God has given us everything, including life itself, and we act as if His gifts were our rightful possession. We boast about them, show them off in the company of others, and are delighted when we receive praise or respect. Let us imagine that we are dying and shall soon be alone in the presence of God. At that supreme moment what will earthly glory matter to us? Of what account will be human flattery and transitory success? When we are alone before God, nothing will matter except humility and the merits which we have gained. These will make us worthy of God's friendship and of a heavenly reward.

2. Vanity destroys whatever is good in our actions and makes them useless in the sight of God. It robs our good actions of all merit because they should be done only for the glory of God, whereas we are performing them for our own glory. We want them to be seen by others so that we shall be honoured by men as noble and holy.

If our actions have been motivated by self-interest rather than by the desire for the glory of God, we shall hear at the judgment seat of God the terrible condemnation: You have received your reward. (Cf. Mt. 6:2) If we have sought our own satisfaction instead of God's glory during our lifetime, we shall not receive an everlasting reward.

3. What hast thou, asks St. Paul, that thou bast not received? And i f thou hast received it, why dost thou boast as if thou hadst not received it? (1 Cor. 4:7) Whenever we are tempted to be proud or boastful, let us reflect on these words of the Apostle of the Gentiles. In spite of the miracles which he had worked and the sacrifices which he had endured for the love of Jesus, he said: I am nothing. (2 Cor. 12:11)

If we model our lives on this outstanding example we shall have peace on earth and an everlasting reward in Heaven.