Don’t be narrow-minded men or women who are immature, short-sighted and incapable of embracing our supernatural Christian outlook as children of God. God and daring!

Daring is not imprudence, or unreflective bravado, or simple pluck.

Daring is fortitude, a cardinal virtue, a requirement of the soul’s life.

You made up your mind after reflection, rather than with any burning enthusiasm. Although you would have very much liked to feel it, there was no room for sentiment: you gave yourself to God when you were convinced that that is what He wanted.

And, since then, you have felt no serious doubts; rather you experience a calm and peaceful joy, which sometimes overflows. It is thus that God rewards the daring feats of Love.

I read a proverb which is very popular in some countries: “God owns the world, but he rents it out to the brave”, and it made me think.

—What are you waiting for?

I am not the apostle I should be. I am… too timid.

Could it not be that you are fainthearted, because your love is small? It is time to change!

The difficulties you have met have made you shrink back, and you have become “prudent, moderate and objective”.

—Remember that you have always despised those terms, when they became synonyms for cowardly, fainthearted and comfort-seeking.

Fear? That is only for those who know they are acting badly. For you, never.

There are a great number of Christians who would be apostles… if they were not afraid.

They are the same people who then complain, because the Lord —they say! — has abandoned them. How do they treat God?

There are many of us; with God’s help, we can reach everywhere, they exclaim enthusiastically.

Why does fear hold you back then? With divine grace, you can become a saint, which is what matters.

When you feel your conscience gnawing at you for not having done something good, it is a sign that the Lord did not want it to be omitted.

—Just so. Moreover, you can be sure that you could have done it, with God’s grace.

Let us not forget it: when fulfilling the divine Will, you can get over obstacles, or under them… or you can go round them. But… they can be overcome!

When one is working to extend an apostolic undertaking, “No” must never be taken for a final answer: you have to insist!

You are too “cautious” and not very “supernatural” and that is why you are a bit too clever: don’t start inventing your own “snags” and trying to solve them all.

—Perhaps the person you speak to is less “clever” or maybe more generous than you are, and as he can count on God, he won’t raise so many objections.

There are some ways of acting that are so careful that, in a word, they are just pusillanimous.

Rest assured: when you work for God, there are no difficulties that cannot be overcome, nor discouragements that will make you abandon the task, nor failures worthy of the name, however unfruitful the results may seem.

Your faith is not operative enough; it seems that you are over-pious, rather than a man who is struggling to be a saint.

Be calm! Be daring!

With these virtues you must rout the fifth column of people who are lukewarm, who are cowards or traitors.

You assured me that you wanted to fight without respite, and now you come to me with a long face.

Look, even humanly speaking, it is good not to find it all done for you, with no hitches. Something — a lot! — depends on you. Otherwise, how could you become a saint?

You won’t commit yourself to working in that supernatural enterprise, because — you say — you are afraid of not knowing how to please, or of making some unfortunate mistake. If you thought more about God, those excuses would disappear.

Sometimes I think that a few enemies of God and his Church live off the fear of many good people, and I am filled with shame.

As we talked, he assured me that he never wanted to leave the hut where he lived, because he preferred to count the beams of “his” shack rather than the stars in heaven.

—There are many like him who are incapable of leaving their own petty things so as to raise their eyes to heaven: it is time they acquired a loftier vision!

I understand the supernatural and human joy of one man who had the good fortune of being in the vanguard of the divine sowing.

“It is wonderful to have the feeling of being the only one, to stir up a whole city and its surroundings”, he would often say, fully convinced.

—Don’t wait until you can count on more means, or until others come: souls have need of you today, now.

Be daring in your prayer, and the Lord will turn you from a pessimist into an optimist; from being timid, to being daring, from being feeble-spirited to being a man of faith, an apostle!

Those problems which used to overwhelm you — and seemed like enormous mountains — disappeared completely. They were solved in a divine way, as when Our Lord commanded the winds and the waters to be calm.

—And to think that you still doubted!

“Don’t help the Holy Spirit so much!”, a friend of mine said, jokingly, but sounding very scared.

I answered: I think we “help him” very little.

When I see so much cowardice, so much false prudence… in both men and women, I burn with the desire to ask them: Are faith and trust only to be preached, then? Not practised?

You find yourself in a position which seems rather strange: on the one hand, you feel fainthearted, as you look inwards; on the other, sure, encouraged, as you look upwards.

—Don’t worry: it is a sign that you are beginning to know yourself better and — more importantly! — that you are beginning to know Him better.

Do you see? With Him you have been able. Why are you surprised?

—Be convinced: there is nothing to be surprised about. If you trust in God — really trust! — things work out easily. And, what is more, you always go further than you imagined you could.

Do you want to be daring in a holy way, so that God may act through you? Have recourse to Mary, and she will accompany you along the path of humility, so that, when faced by what to the human mind is impossible, you may be able to answer with a fiat! — be it done!, which unites the earth to Heaven.

This chapter in another language