'They have the stuff of saints in them.' At times you hear this said of some people. Apart from the fact that the saints were not made of 'stuff, to have stuff is not sufficient.
A great spirit of obedience to your Director and great readiness to respond to grace are essential. For, if you don't allow God's grace and your Director to do their work, there will never appear the finished sculpture, Christ's image, into which the saintly man is fashioned.
And the 'stuff' of which we were speaking will be no more than a heap of shapeless matter, fit only for the fire..., for a good fire if it was good stuff!
Get to know the holy Spirit, the great Stranger, on whom depends your sanctification.
Don't forget that you are God's temple. The Advocate is in the centre of your soul: listen to him and be docile to his inspirations.
Don't hinder the work of the Paraclete: seek union with Christ so as to be purified, and feel with him the insults, the spits, and the blows, and the thorns, and the weight of the Cross..., and the nails tearing through your flesh, and the agony of a forsaken death.
And enter through our Lord's open side until you find sure refuge there in his wounded Heart.
Here is a safe doctrine that I want you to know: one's own mind is a bad adviser, a poor pilot to steer the soul through the storms and tempests and among the reefs of the interior life.
That is why it is the will of God that the command of the ship be entrusted to a Master who, with his light and his knowledge, can guide us to a safe harbour.
Without an architect you wouldn't build a good house for your life on earth. How then, without a Director, can you hope to build the palace of your sanctification for your eternity in heaven?
When a layman sets himself up as an expert on morals he often goes astray: laymen can only be disciples.
A Director. You need one. So that you can give yourself to God, and give yourself fully..., by obedience. A Director who understands your apostolate, who knows what God wants, who can effectively second the work of the holy Spirit in your soul, without taking you from your place, filling you with peace, and teaching you how to make your work fruitful.
You think you are quite important: your studies, your research work, your publications, your social standing, your name, your political activities, the positions you hold, your wealth... your age: you're no longer a child!...
Just because of all that, you, more than others, need a Director for your soul.
Don't hide from your Director those insinuations of the enemy. Your victory, on taking him into your confidence, brings you more grace from God. And moreover you now have what will help you to keep on conquering, your spiritual father's prayers and his gift of counsel.
Why are you so reluctant to see yourself and to let your Director see you as you really are?
You will have won a great battle if you lose that fear of letting yourself be known.
A Priest — whoever he may be — is always another Christ.
Though you well know it, I shall remind you again that a Priest is 'another Christ'. And that the holy Spirit has said: 'Nolite tangere Christos meos — do not touch my Christs'.
Presbyter — Priest — means, literally, an elderly man. If old age deserves veneration, think how much more you ought to venerate the Priesthood.
It shows very little refinement — and great lack of respect — to make fun of a Priest, whoever he is, and whatever the pretext!
I repeat: to make fun of a Priest — no matter what the circumstances — is always, at best, a sign of coarseness and poor taste.
How we should admire sacerdotal purity! It is their treasure. No tyrant can ever wrest this crown from the Church.
Don't place a Priest in peril of losing his dignity. It is a virtue which, without being pompous, he simply must have.
How that young cleric — a friend of ours — prayed for it: 'Lord, grant me... eighty years of dignity!'
Pray for it for the whole Priesthood, and you will have done a good thing.
It cut you to the heart to hear people say that you had spoken badly of those Priests. And I am glad that it hurt: for now I am sure you have the right spirit!
To love God and not venerate his Priests... is not possible.
Like the good sons of Noah, throw the mantle of charity over the defects you see in your father, the Priest.
Without a plan of life you will never have order.
This tying of one's life to a plan, to a timetable, you tell me, is so monotonous! And I answer: there is monotony because there is little Love.
If you don't get up at a fixed time you will never carry out your plan of life.
Virtue without order? Strange virtue!
When you bring order into your life your time will multiply, and then you will be able to give God more glory, by working more in his service.