Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Fr. Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J., on Confidence in the Service of God

Apply yourself seriously to serve God and to do your duty, and if you happen to fail in any thing, trouble not yourself, and lose not courage for that; since all the world are failing in their duty. You are but a weak man, you are not an angel or saint; and God who knows very well your weakness and misery, would not have you be discouraged when you fall. He only wishes you to ask new strength of him, that, in imitation of children, who as soon as they fall, rise again, and continue to run; even so you ought quickly rise, and begin anew to run in the way of God's commandments. Fathers, says St Ambrose, behold the falls of their children, rather with compassion than anger; God does the same to us. He loves us as his children, he knows our frailty, and therefore our falls and weaknesses excite him rather to a tender compassion, than to any indignation towards us. As a father pities his children, so our Lord has pity and compassion upon those that fear Him; for he knows of what matter we are made, and he has not forgot that we are dust. (Ps. cii. 13.) One of the great consolations those have who serve God with the fervor they ought, is, to know that though they correspond not to his goodness as they should yet he ceases not to bear with them and to love them; because he is rich in mercy;(Eph. ii. 4. ) so that all our sins disappear before his infinite mercy, and become like wax that melts before the fire. What sentiments of zeal, gratitude and cheerfulness, ought not to be excited in us by the thought, that the many faults we daily fall into through our weakness, do not hinder God from loving us according to his wonted goodness, and do not at all diminish his grace in us?


Source: Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J., The Practice of Christian Perfection (New York, NY: Excelsior Catholic Publishing House), 2:189.

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