Human Respect

When the defence of truth is at stake, how can we desire neither to displease God nor to clash with our surroundings? These two things are opposed: it is either the one or the other! The sacrifice has to be a holocaust where everything is burned up, even the thought: “what will they say?”, even what we call our reputation.

How clearly I see now that “holy shamelessness” is rooted, very deeply, in the Gospel! Fulfil the Will of God…, remembering Jesus falsely accused, Jesus spat upon and buffeted, Jesus brought before the shabby courts of men… And Jesus silent!!

—A resolution: I shall bow my head when insulted, and — knowing that humiliations will certainly follow — I shall persevere in the divine undertaking with which the merciful Love of Our Lord has wished to entrust us.

It is terrible how much harm we can do if we allow ourselves to be carried away by the fear or the shame of being seen as Christians in ordinary life.

There are some people who, when they speak about God or the apostolate, seem to feel the need to apologise. Perhaps it is because they have not discovered the value of human virtues, but, on the other hand, have been greatly deformed spiritually, and are too cowardly.

It is no use trying to please everyone. There will always be people who disagree, who complain. The way popular wisdom sums it up is: “What is good for the sheep is bad for the wolves.”

Don’t behave like someone frightened by an enemy whose only strength is his “aggressive voice”.

You understand the work that is being carried out…, you have nothing against it (!). But you are very careful not to take part in it, and even more careful to ensure that others do not see or suspect you are lending a hand.

—You told me that you were afraid that people might think you are better than you are! —Is it not rather that you are afraid God and men might ask you to be more consistent?

He seemed to be totally determined… But, when he took up his pen to break with his girl friend, his indecision and lack of courage got the better of him: it was all very human and understandable, people said. According to some, it seems human love is not among the things which one has to leave behind in order to follow Jesus Christ totally, when He asks you.

Some people make mistakes through weakness — on account of the fragile clay we are all made of — but retain the Church’s doctrine in its integrity.

They are the ones who, with the grace of God, display heroic courage and humility in acknowledging their mistakes and firmly defending the truth.

Some call imprudence and rashness what is in fact faith and trust in God.

It is madness to trust in God…!, they say. —And is it not greater madness to trust in oneself, or in other men?

You wrote to tell me that you have at last gone to confession and that you experienced the humiliation of having to open the sewer — that is what you say — of your life to “a man”.

When will you get rid of that feeling of vain self-esteem? You will then go to confession extremely happy to show yourself as you are to “that man”, who, being anointed, is a Christ — Christ himself — and gives you absolution, God’s forgiveness.

May we have the courage always to act in public in accordance with our holy faith.

“We cannot be sectarian”, they told me with an air of reasonableness, referring to the way the Church’s doctrine remains firm.

Afterwards, when I let them see that whoever is in possession of the Truth cannot be sectarian, they realised their mistake.

To be convinced that it is ridiculous to take fashion as a principle for your behaviour, you need only to look at some old portraits.

I am glad that you love processions, and all the external practices of our Holy Mother the Church, so as to render God the worship due to him…, and that you enter into the spirit of them!

Ego palam locutus sum mundo. I have preached openly before the whole world, was the answer Jesus gave to Caiphas when the time had come for him to give his Life for us.

—And yet there are Christians who are ashamed to show palam —openly — veneration for Our Lord.

When the apostles had scattered, and the enraged mob made themselves hoarse shouting angrily at Jesus, the Holy Virgin Mary followed close behind her Son along the streets of Jerusalem. She did not draw back when the crowd cried out, nor did she leave Our Redeemer alone when each person, anonymous in that procession, was in his cowardice emboldened to ill-treat Christ.

Call on her with all your strength: Virgo fidelis!, Virgin most faithful!, and ask her that those of us who call ourselves God’s friends may truly be so at all times.

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