The struggle of a child of God cannot go hand in hand with a spirit of sad-faced renunciation, sombre resignation or a lack of joy. It is, on the contrary, the struggle of the man in love who, whether working or resting, rejoicing or suffering, is always thinking of the one he loves, for whose sake he is happy to tackle any problems that may arise. Besides, in our case, being united with God, we can call ourselves victors because, I insist, he does not lose battles. My own experience is that when I strive faithfully to meet his demands, 'he gives me a resting place where there is green pasture, leads me out to the cool water's brink, refreshed and content. As in honour pledged, by sure paths he leads me; dark be the valley about my path, hurt I fear none while he is with me; thy rod, thy crook are my comfort.'

To win the battles of the soul, the best strategy often is to bide one's time and apply the suitable remedy with patience and perseverance. Make more acts of hope. Let me remind you that in your interior life you will suffer defeats and you will have ups and downs — may God make them imperceptible — because no one is free of these misfortunes. But our all powerful and merciful Lord has granted us the precise means with which to conquer. As I have already mentioned, all we have to do is to use them, resolving to begin again and again at every moment, should it prove necessary.

I would like to see you going to the holy Sacrament of Penance, the sacrament of divine forgiveness, every week, and indeed whenever you need it, without giving in to scruples. Clothed in grace, we can cross mountains, and climb the hill of our Christian duty, without halting on the way. If we use these resources with a firm purpose and beg Our Lord to grant us an ever increasing hope, we will possess the infectious joy of those who know they are children of God: 'If God is with us, who can be against us?' Let us be optimists. Moved by the power of hope, we will fight to wipe away the trail of filth and slime left by the sowers of hatred. We will find a new joyful perspective to the world, seeing that it has sprung forth beautiful and fair from the hands of God. We will give it back to him with that same beauty, if we learn how to repent.

References to Holy Scripture
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