The brightness of good works

The following of Christ is born of Love and in Love finds its nourishment. Gentrification constitutes a failure of those great desires to follow the Master; we have to be very sincere with God and with ourselves, to be always open to his requirements, fighting selfishness. Whoever is attached to a comfortable life, whoever shuns abnegation and sacrifice or allows himself to be carried away only by cravings for personal satisfactions, will not find the necessary strength to give himself to God and to others with all his heart and with all his soul.

"There are also others who afflict their body with abstinence, but from that same abstinence of theirs they solicit human favors; they devote themselves to teaching, they give many things to the indigent; but in reality they are foolish virgins, because they seek only the retribution of passing praise." They are those who lack uprightness of intention: their works remain empty.

The Lord asks of us perseverance in love, which must always grow, feeling in every age and situation the joy of serving Christ. The Holy Spirit counsels us: "Be strong and of good courage, all you who hope in Yahweh6 . Without discouragement, persevering in daily effort, so that Love may find us ready when it comes. "Are not these wise virgins," comments St. Augustine, "those who persevere to the end? For no other cause, for no other reason would they have been let in but for having persevered to the end? And because their lamps burn until the last moment, the doors are opened wide and they are told to enter": they have reached the end of their lives.

When the Christian loses this attentive attitude, when he yields to venial sin and lets his friendship with Christ grow cold, he is left in the dark; without light for himself and for others, who had a right to the influence of his good example. When the spirit of mortification is put aside and prayer is neglected..., the light languishes and ends up being extinguished, "and after so much work, after so much sweat, after that courageous struggle and the victories won against the evil inclinations of nature, the foolish virgins had to retire in shame, with their lamps extinguished and their heads lowered". The love of God is not in having begun - even with great impetus - but in persevering, in beginning again and again.

The fatwas "have not remained inactive: they have tried something.... But they heard the voice that answered them harshly: I do not know you (Mt 25:12). They did not know or did not want to prepare themselves with due diligence, and they forgot to take the reasonable precaution of acquiring the oil at the proper time. They lacked the generosity to fulfill the little that they had been entrusted with. There were indeed many hours left, but they wasted them.

"Let us think courageously about our life: why do we sometimes fail to find those minutes to lovingly finish the work that concerns us and which is the means of our sanctification? Why do we neglect our family obligations? Why does haste creep into the moment of prayer, of attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Why do we lack the serenity and calm to fulfill the duties of our state, and we entertain ourselves without any haste in pursuing personal whims? You can answer me: they are trifles. Yes, indeed: but these trifles are the oil, our oil, that keeps the flame alive and the light burning".

The desire to love Christ more and more, the struggle against defects and weaknesses, starting over and over again, is what keeps the flame burning, is the oil in the vessel, which does not allow the glow of charity to be extinguished. The Lord waits for us at work, in the family, in entertainment? We are all of Him, in whatever situation we find ourselves. The glow of charity must always shine forth.

Hablar con Dios