The Final Countdown
Just a few thoughts:
- We’re incredibly close to Washington, D.C. Most of us on the Northern Walk are in shock and disbelief that we’ll be closing this chapter of our lives so soon. (So very, very soon.) At the same time, however, we’re all looking forward to being able to take those last few steps to the Basilica as a team to show that we’ve successfully completed our mission.
- I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly thank God for the departure of Night Shift from our walk. We got a bit ahead of schedule, and therefore are not doing any night shift this week. Some of my fellow teammates say that they’re actually going to miss it, but all I have to say on the subject is: PRAISE GOD.
- Satan knows that this time of closure in the walk is absolutely essential. This is the time when it’s easiest for everyone to forget our mission, become apathetic and just go through the motions, and become easily frustrated with each other. Knowing this, the Prince of Discord has been doing a lot to make the end of our walk dysfunctional. But I came across a reading from Magnificat (Why There Are Storms In Life- the Meditation of the Day from August 1st) that really helped us to be more at ease, and I’d like to share it with you. Bear with me- it’s a little long, but so worth it. (The saints can communicate what I want to say so much more effectively, anyway, so why not read from them?)
“In tribulations God enriches his beloved souls with the greatest graces… The Lord sends them to us, not because he wishes our misfortune, but because he desires our welfare. Hence, when they come upon us, we must embrace them with thanksgiving, and must not only resign ourselves to the divine will, but must also rejoice that God treats us as he treated his Son Jesus Christ, whose life upon this Earth was always full of tribulation… Tribulation opens the eyes which prosperity had kept shut… By tribulations we atone for the sins we have committed, much better than by voluntary works of penance. ‘Be assured,’ says Saint Augustine, ‘that God is a physician, and that tribulation is a salutary medicine’… The same saint rebukes the sinner who complains of God for sending him tribulations. ‘Why,’ he says, ‘do you complain? What you suffer is a remedy, not a punishment’… By convincing us that God alone is able and willing to relieve us in our miseries, tribulations remind us of him and compel us to have recourse to his mercy… Tribulations enable us to acquire great merits before God, by giving us opportunities of exercising the virtues of humility, of patience, and of resignation to the divine will. The venerable John d’Avila used to say that a single blessed be God, in adversity, is worth more than a thousand acts of thanksgiving in prosperity. ‘Take away,’ says Saint Ambrose, ‘the contests of the martyrs, and you have taken away their crowns’… The man whom the Lord afflicts in this life has a certain proof that he is dear to God… When we are surrounded on all sides with tribulations, and know not what to do, we must turn to God, who alone can console us…
We should turn to God, and pray to him, and never cease to pray til he hears us… We must keep our eyes continually raised to God, and must continue to implore his aid, until he is moved to compassion for our miseries. We must have great confidence in the heart of Jesus Christ, and ought not to imitate certain persons, who instantly lose courage because they do not feel that they are heard as soon as they begin to pray… When the favors which we ask are spiritual, or can be profitable to our souls, we should be certain of being heard, provided we persevere in prayer, and do not lose confidence… In tribulations, then, we should never cease to hope with confidence that the divine mercy will console us.”
—Saint Alphonsus Liguori
(Saint Alphonsus Liguori (+1787), a bishop, founded the Redemptorists. He is a Doctor of the Church.)
…I think that says it all.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux, pray for us!
St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us!
PS- here’s a picture of some of your Northern Walkers at Notre Dame!