Do not grieve or complain that you were born in a time when you can no longer see God in the flesh. He did not in fact take this privilege from you. As he says: ‘Whatever you have done to the least of my brothers, you did to me.’ ~St Augustine, Office of Readings for July 29
Fr. Jacques Hamel, pray for us.
Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: ‘Ye were bought at a price’, and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God. ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
Because egoism nourishes mistrust, it is very important, if we want to be freed from this, to make a serious, sober commitment such as, “I do not want to be respected by certain people; I do not want to be admired. Lord, accept my commitment today. I do not want to worry about whether I get a bad deal; I do not want to be involved in myself. I want to trust that you will not let anything happen to me that would not be for my good. I always want to think the best of my brother and sister and not give way to any mistrustful thoughts again.…” Then we should go and seek ways to bring love and trust to those whom we have mistrusted. That will help us; for if we give others love, we will no longer center around ourselves. ~Basilea Schlink, Called to Commuity: The Life Jesus Wants for His People
I have seen almost all the beautiful things that God has made; I have enjoyed almost every pleasure that he has planned for us; and yet as I look back I see standing out above all the life that has gone four or five short experiences when the love of God reflected itself in some poor imitations, some small act of love of mine. And these seem to be the things which alone of all one’s life abide. Everything else in all our lives is transitory. Every other good is visionary. But the acts of love which no one knows about, or can ever know about – they never fail. ~Henry Drummond, The Greatest Thing in the World
“Trust in your [Heavenly] Father. If it would have been good for you, you would have received it. Before God, you are much as a little child is before you. All day long the child cries his eyes out so that you will give him a knife to play with. You wisely refuse his plea and pay no attention to his wailing… You deny him in little things so as to preserve more important things. You want the child to grow up safely and possess all his own goods without danger.” ~St Augustine, Sermon 80, 2, 7-8.
O God, whose Only Begotten Son
entrusted Mary Magdalene before all others
with announcing the great joy of the Resurrection,
grant, we pray,
that through her intercession and example
we may proclaim the living Christ
and come to see him reigning in your glory.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Are you worried because you find it so hard to believe? Don’t be surprised at the difficulty of faith, if there is some part of your life where you are consciously resisting or disobeying the commandment of Jesus. Is there some part of your life which you are refusing to surrender at his behest, some sinful passion, maybe, or some animosity, some hope, perhaps your ambition or your reason? If so, you must not be surprised that you have not received the Holy Spirit, that prayer is difficult, or that your request for faith remains unanswered…The person who disobeys cannot believe. Only if you obey can you believe. ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Disicpleship