The means

And what of the means? — They are the same as those of Peter and of Paul, of Dominic and Francis, of Ignatius and Xavier: the Cross and the Gospel…

Don't they satisfy you?

In your apostolic undertakings you are right — it's your duty — to consider what means the world can offer you (2+2=4), but don't forget — ever! — that, fortunately, your calculations must include another term: God+2+2…

Serve your God unwaveringly, be faithful to him, and worry about nothing else. For it is indeed true that 'if you set your hearts on the kingdom of God and on his righteousness, he will give you all these other things — material necessities, the means — as well'.

Forget that despair produced by the realization of your weakness. — True: financially you are a zero, in social standing another zero, and another in virtues, and another in talent.

But to the left of these noughts, stands Christ. And what an incalculable figure we get!

So you are a nobody. And others have done wonders, are still doing them, in organisation, in publicity, in the press. And they have all the means, while you have none? Well then, Just remember Ignatius.

Ignorant, among the doctors of Alcala; penniless, among the students of Paris, persecuted, slandered…

That is the way: to love and to believe and… to suffer! Your Love and your Faith and your Cross are the infallible means to give effect — eternal effect — to the longing for apostolate that you bear in your heart.

You realise you are weak. And so indeed you are. In spite of that — rather, Just because of that — God has chosen you.

He always uses inadequate instruments, so that the 'work' will be seen to be his.

Of you, he only asks docility.

When you really 'give yourself' to God, there will be no difficulty that can shake your optimism.

Why do you overlook those corners of your heart? As long as you don't 'give yourself' completely, you can't expect to win over others.

What a poor instrument you are!

But, surely — at this stage — you don't mean to tell me that you need the approval, the favour the encouragement of the powerful, to go on doing what God wants?

The powerful often change, and you have to be constant. Be grateful if they help you. But go ahead, unperturbed, if they treat you with contempt.

Take no notice. Madness has always been the term that 'prudent' people apply to God's works.

Forward! Without fear!

Do you see? One strand of wire entwined with another, many woven tightly together, form that cable strong enough to lift huge weights.

You and your brothers, with wills united to carry out God's will can overcome all obstacles.

When we seek God only, we need not be afraid to promote works of zeal, by putting into practice the principle laid down by a good friend of ours: 'Spend all that you ought, though you owe all that you spend.'

What does it matter if you have the whole world against you, with all its power? You… keep going!

Repeat the words of the psalm: 'The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom need I fear? Si consistant adversum me castra, non timebit cor meum. — Though an army pitched camp against me, my heart shall not be afraid'.

Courage! You… can! Don't you see what God's grace did with sleepy-headed Peter, the coward who had denied him…, and with Paul, his fierce and relentless persecutor?

Be an instrument of gold or steel, or iron or platinum,… big or small, rough or delicate.

All are useful; each one serves its own purpose. As in material things: would anyone dare assert that the carpenter's saw is less useful than the surgeon's scapel?

Your duty is to be an instrument.

Well, so what? I can't understand how you want to give up that apostolic work — unless your motive is hidden pride: you think yourself perfect — just because God's fire that attracted you and so often gives the light and warmth that arouse your enthusiasm, should also at times produce the smoke due to the weakness of the instrument.

There is work in plenty. The instruments cannot be left to grow rusty. There are also norms to avoid the mildew and the rust. Just put them into practice.

Don't worry over the financial difficulties which threaten your apostolic undertaking. Have greater confidence in God, do all that your human means permit— and you'll see how soon money ceases to be a difficulty

Don't let the lack of instruments stop your work: begin by making the best of what you have. As time passes, the function will create the organ. Some, who had seemed useless, turn out to be useful. The rest have to undergo a surgical operation, a painful one perhaps — there were no better 'surgeons' than the saints! — and so the work goes on.

A keen and living faith. Like Peter's. When you have it — our Lord has said so — you will move the mountains, the humanly insuperable obstacles that rise up against your apostolic undertakings.

An upright heart and good will. With these, and with your mind intent on carrying out what God wants, you will see your dreams of Love come true and your hunger for souls satisfied.

'This is the carpenter's son, surely? This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary?'

This, which was said of Jesus, may very well be said of you, in a tone half of astonishment, half of mockery, when you really decide to carry out God's will, to be an instrument: 'But, isn't this "So-and-so"…?'

Say nothing. And let your works confirm your mission.

References to Holy Scripture
References to Holy Scripture
References to Holy Scripture
References to Holy Scripture
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