A consequence of loyalty is your assurance that you are walking along the right road, without being unsettled or confused. You are also strengthened in this additional certainty: that good sense and happiness exist.

—See whether this is fulfilled in every instant of your life.

You told me that God sometimes fills you with light for a while and sometimes does not.

I reminded you, firmly, that the Lord is always infinitely good. That is why those bright days are enough to help you carry on; but the times when you see no light are good for you too, and make you more faithful.

The salt of the earth. Our Lord said that his disciples — you and I also — are the salt of the earth: to render immune to infection, to prevent corruption, to season the world.

But he also added: Quod si sal evanuerit… — if the salt itself becomes tasteless, it will be cast out and trampled underfoot by men.

—On seeing the many things happening which we lament, are you now beginning to find an explanation for what you could not explain before?

That passage of the Second Epistle to Timothy makes me shudder, when the Apostle laments that Demas has deserted him for love of this life and gone to Thessalonica. For a trifle, and for fear of persecution, this man, whom Saint Paul had quoted in other epistles as being among the saints, had betrayed the divine enterprise.

I shudder when I realise how little I am: and it leads me to demand from myself faithfulness to the Lord even in events that might seem to be indifferent — for if they do not help me to be more united to Him, I do not want them!

I thought the comment on loyalty you had written to me was very appropriate to all those moments in history which the devil makes his business to repeat: “I carry with me every day in my heart, in my mind and on my lips, an aspiration: Rome.”

What a great discovery! Something you barely half-understood turned out to be very clear when you had to explain it to others.

You had to speak very gently with someone, who was disheartened because he felt useless and did not want to be a burden to anyone… You understood then, better than ever, why I always talk to you about being little donkeys turning the water-wheel: carrying on faithfully, with large blinkers which prevent us personally seeing or tasting the results — the flowers, the fruit, the freshness of the garden — confident about the effectiveness of our fidelity.

Loyalty demands a real hunger for formation, because you are moved by a sincere love and you do not wish to run the risk of spreading or of defending, through ignorance, principles or attitudes which are very far from being in accordance with the truth.

“I would like”, you write, “my loyalty and perseverance to be so solid and so eternal, and my service so vigilant and loving, that you could be pleased with me, and I could provide a bit of solace for you.”

—And I answer: may God confirm you in your resolution, so that we may provide help and solace for Him.

It is true that some who become enthusiastic leave later on. Don’t worry: they are the needle God makes use of to draw the thread through the cloth.

—Oh, and pray for them, because perhaps one can manage to get them to keep giving an impulse to others.

For you who are wavering, I copy from a letter: “From now on I may continue to be the same inept instrument as ever. But in spite of that, I have changed my way of defining and solving the problem of my life, because there is in me a firm desire to persevere… for ever!”

—You must never doubt that He never fails.

Your life is service, but always with stalwart loyalty, laying down no conditions. Only thus shall we be able to give the Lord what he expects.

I shall never share the idea, either in the ascetical or the juridical field, of those who think and live as if serving the Church were equivalent to climbing to the top.

It hurts you to see that some use the technique of speaking about the Cross of Christ, only so as to climb and obtain positions. They are the same people who consider nothing they see as clean if it does not coincide with their own particular standards.

—All the more reason, then, for you to persevere in the rectitude of your intentions, and to ask the Master to grant you the strength to repeat: Non mea voluntas, sed tua fiat! — Lord, may I fulfil your Holy Will with love!

Every day you must grow in loyalty towards the Church, the Pope and the Holy See… with a love that should be always more theological.

You have a great desire truly to love the Church: and all the greater, when you see that those who wish to make her appear ugly are more active. —This seems very natural to me: because the Church is your Mother.

Sooner or later, those who do not wish to understand that the faith demands service to the Church and to souls, invert the terms, and end up by having the Church and souls serving their own personal ends.

May you never fall into the error of identifying the Mystical Body of Christ with a particular personal or public attitude of any of its members.

And may you never let other people with less formation fall into that error.

—Now you realise the importance of your integrity, of your loyalty!

I cannot understand you when you talk about matters of morals and of faith and you tell me that you are an independent Catholic…

—From whom are you independent? That false independence is equivalent to leaving the way of Christ.

You must never give in with regard to the doctrine of the Church.

—When an alloy is made, the better metal loses its value.

Furthermore, that treasure is not yours, and — as the Gospel says — the Owner may ask you to render an account when you least expect it.

I have to agree with you that there are practising Catholics who even seem devout in the eyes of others and are perhaps sincerely convinced, yet are naively serving the enemies of the Church.

—Into their very homes, under various names, invariably wrongly used — ecumenism, pluralism, democracy — has insinuated itself the worst adversary — ignorance.

Although it seems a paradox, those who call themselves sons of the Church may often be precisely those who sow greater confusion.

You are tired of fighting. You are disgusted with an environment characterised by lack of loyalty. Everyone rushes upon the man who has fallen, to trample on him!

I do not know why you are surprised. The same thing happened to Christ himself, but He did not pull back, because He had come precisely to save the sick and those who did not understand him.

That those who are loyal should remain inactive!, is what the disloyal want.

Flee from sectarianism, which is opposed to loyal collaboration.

True unity cannot be promoted by making new divisions… Even less can it come about when its promoters wish to gain control and take over from lawful authority.

You became very thoughtful when you heard me say: I want the blood of my Mother the Church to run in my veins; not Alexander’s, or Charlemagne’s, nor that of the Seven Sages of Greece.

To persevere is to persist in love, per Ipsum et cum Ipso et in Ipso… Indeed we can also interpret this as: He himself, with me, for me and in me.

Among Catholics it might perhaps be that some have little Christian spirit; or so it might seem to those who have dealings with them at some particular moment.

But if you were to be scandalised by this fact, you would show that you knew very little about human wretchedness and… about your own wretchedness. Furthermore, it is neither just nor loyal to use the example of the weaknesses of a few to speak ill of Christ and his Church.

It is true that we, the children of God, ought not to serve the Lord to be noticed… But we should not mind being seen, much less should we cease to fulfil our duty because we are seen!

Twenty centuries have gone by, and every day the scene is repeated: they continue to judge, to scourge and crucify the Master… And many Catholics, with their behaviour and with their words, continue to shout: Him? I don’t know him!

I would like to go around everywhere, reminding many, confidentially, that God is merciful, but He is also very just! That is why He declared: “I too will disown whoever disowns me before men.”

I have always thought that lack of loyalty out of human respect is lack of love — and a lack of personality.

Turn your eyes towards the Blessed Virgin and see how she practises the virtue of loyalty. When Elizabeth needs her, the Gospel says that she went cum festinatione — joyfully making haste. Learn from her!

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