Monday, 7 October 2013

Discouragement and Anxiety

In the spiritual life there is always going to be falls and weaknesses. This is of course natural, but the way we react to it can affect our spiritual life for good or for worse. For example, we try our best to be perfect, avoiding all sins, trying to be pious. We are pleased with ourselves until we fall back into a certain sin. When this happens, we become extremely discouraged and depressed because of how horrible we were. But is this the correct reaction? Not at all.

Humbling Ourselves - The best thing to remember is that we are human, and will always be human. We are burdened with the effects of original sin and are completely incapable of doing anything good on our own without God. Therefore when we fall we should calmly acknowledge that we have fallen, realize that we are sinners and weak without God's grace, place our sin in the Holy Wound of Our Lord, and resolve to do better. Our Lord once told Sister Josepha Menendez that when a soul does this, he gains more merit in humbling himself rather than not sinning at all. When we become discouraged, its root is pride. We ask ourselves, "How could I possibly fall? I who am so holy?" Therefore this method is very good for humility, spares us from beating up on ourselves, and is very pleasing in the eyes of Our Lord.

Anxiety to Sin - There are two reasons for worrying about sin. The first is that we are afraid that we won't be as holy, and as righteous as we are now. The second reason is that we are afraid to offend God - this is actually a gift of the Holy Ghost called fear of the Lord. We should be concerned about offending God, but we shouldn't be afraid to sin because we are ''so good." We are not righteous and holy, we are sinners who are weak. Therefore we should place ourselves in the hands of God, trust in His goodness, make sure to keep from sin, and stop worrying. Through humility we are set free of our pride and begin to learn of the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord said to Sister Josepha, “Come . . . enter My Heart. How easy it is for a mere nothing to lose itself in that abyss of love. That is how I will consume your littleness and nothingness. I will act through you, speak through you, and make Myself known through you. How many will find life in My words! How many will take new courage as they understand the fruit to be drawn from their efforts! A little act of generosity, of patience, of poverty . . . may become treasure that will win a great number of souls to My Heart . . .”

Trust in God - Just as a child holds his father's hand trustfully, so also must we hold the hand of our Father in heaven, and trust in His infinite goodness. God is so kind, so tender; it is impossible for Him to stop loving us! The only way He would ever leave us is if we abandon Him first. His love surpasses all human reason, so always place your trust and hopes in Him.  How loving He is, “Never shall I weary of repentant sinners, nor cease from hoping for their return, and the greater their distress, the greater My welcome.”

 So let us never forget in our times of distress that Our Lord is always there with a smile on His face, waiting for us to look up at Him and ask for His help. God bless you all!

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