Among those around you — apostolic soul — you are the stone fallen into the lake. With your word and your example you produce a first circle… and it another… and another, and another… Wider each time.
Now do you understand the greatness of your mission?
How anxious people are to get out of place! Think what would happen if each bone and each muscle of the human body wanted to occupy some position other than that proper to it.
There is no other reason for the world's discontent. Persevere in your place, my son; there… what work you can do to establish our Lord's true kingdom!
Leaders!… Strengthen your will so that God can make a leader of you. — Consider the tactics of those infamous secret societies. They don't try to win over the masses. In their dens they form a number of demon-men who set to work stirring up the multitudes to madness, so that they will follow them to the precipice of all excess… and to hell. They spread an accursed seed.
If you wish, you will spread God's word, which is a thousand times blessed and can never fail. If you are generous…, if you respond, with your personal sanctification you will help to bring about the sanctification of others; the kingdom of Christ: omnes cum Petro ad Jesum per Mariam — 'all with Peter to Jesus through Mary.'
Is there any greater folly than to scatter the golden wheat on the ground to let it rot? Without that generous folly there would be no harvest.
Son, how do we stand as regards generosity?
You long to shine like a star, to shed your light from high in the heavens?
Better to burn like a hidden torch, setting your fire to all that you touch. That's your apostolate: that's why you are on earth.
To serve as a loud-speaker for the enemy is the height of idiocy; and if the enemy is God's enemy, it is a great sin. That is why, in the professional field, I never praise the knowledge of those who use it as rostrum from which to attack the Church.
Hurrying, hurrying! Working, working! Feverish activity, anxiety to be up and doing. Marvellous material structures…
Where spiritual things are concerned: broken up boxes, cheap cotton, painted cardboard, hurrying, working! And many people running here and there.
It is because in their work they think only of 'today'; their vision is limited to what is 'present'. You must see things with the eyes of eternity, 'keeping present' what has passed and what has yet to come…
Calmness. Peace. Intense life within you. Without that wild hurry, without that frenzy for change, you can work from your proper place in life. And, like a powerful generator of spiritual electricity, you will give light and energy to very many, without losing your own vigour and light.
Have no enemies. Have only friends: friends on the right — if they have done or have wished to do you good; and on the left — if they have harmed or tried to harm you.
Never go into details of 'your' apostolate unless it be for someone else's benefit.
May your dedication pass unnoticed as, for thirty years, did that of Jesus.
Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus visit Jesus privately when things are normal and also in the hour of triumph.
But they are courageous in the face of authority, declaring their love for Christ audacter, boldly, in the hour of cowardice. Learn from them.
Don't worry if by your deeds 'they know you.' It is the good odour of Christ. Besides, since you always work exclusively for him, you can rejoice that the words of Scripture are being fulfilled: 'May they see your good works and give praise to your Father in heaven.'
'Non manifeste, sed quasi in occulto, quite privately, without drawing attention to himself': So Jesus goes up to the feast of Tabernacles. So will he go, on the way to Emmaus, with Cleophas and his companion. So is he seen, after his Resurrection, by Mary Magdalen.
And so will he appear — 'the disciples did not realise that it was Jesus' — at the miraculous catch of fishes, as Saint John tells us.
And more hidden still, through Love for men, is he in the Host.
Raise magnificent buildings? Build sumptuous palaces? Let others raise them! Let others build them!…
Souls! Let us give life to souls, for those buildings and palaces!
What fine houses are being prepared for us!
How you made me laugh and how you made me think with that trite remark of yours: I'm all for first things first.
Agreed: you do better work with that friendly chat or that heart-to-heart conversation than making speeches — 'spectacular' speeches — in public before thousands of people.
Nevertheless, when speeches have to be made, make them.
The isolated efforts of each one of you have little effect. Let the charity of Christ unite you, and you will be amazed at their effectiveness.
You want to be a martyr. I will place a martyrdom within your reach: to be an apostle and not to call yourself an apostle, to be a missionary — with a mission — and not to call yourself a missionary, to be a man of God and to seem a man of the world: to pass unnoticed!
Laugh at him! Tell him he is behind the times: it's incredible that some people still want to regard the stage— coach as a good means of transport. This is how I feel about those who persist in unearthing musty and periwigged 'Voltairianisms' or discredited liberalisms of the nineteenth century.
What conversations! What vulgarity and what dirt! And you have to associate with them, in the office, in the university, in the operating-theatre…, in the world.
Ask them if they wouldn't mind stopping, and they laugh at you. Look annoyed, and they get worse. Leave them, and they continue.
This is the solution: first pray for them, and offer up some sacrifice; then face them like a man and make use of the 'strong language apostolate'. — The next time we meet I'll tell you — in a whisper — a few useful words.
Let us make use of the 'providential imprudences' of youth.