Now my soul is troubled. And what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? No: for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Father, glorify your name.
Happy belated feast days of Saints Augustine and Monica! To all who pray, fast, weep, and mourn, rejoice and be comforted! St. Ambrose said to St. Monica, “Woman, go in peace; the child of such prayers cannot perish.”
Do not despair of your loved ones. One plants, another waters; but God gives the increase.
How small our faith! How weak our prayers! Take heart and do not lose courage. Your mustard seed will grow into a tree. God will find the gold coin which has gone missing. He will call back the wandering sheep, and the angels in heaven will rejoice.
Concern for souls bears two fruits: eagerness for evangelization and vigilance that we not fall away. St. Augustine preaches, “So mighty is the physician who has come to us that he has healed all our sins! If we choose to be sick once again, we will not only harm ourselves, but show ingratitude to the physician as well.” God grant us grace to walk worthy of the calling with which we were called.
Think of the consolation of heaven. If you have devoted your time on earth to saving souls, God will grant you to continue that work beyond the vale. Patrick Ahern chronicles Therese of Lisieux: “The whole purpose of her earthly life was to love God and make Him loved. That would not change after she died, as long as there were souls still to be saved.” God wants unity of mission between heaven and earth.
The desire for the salvation of souls works in tandem with detachment from the world. Would that we could say with Therese, “How happy I am to die!” She speaks with eager anticipation of her death: “I don’t know the future, but I can tell you with assurance that the Spouse is at the door.” From her love for God sprang a persistence reminiscent of the widow who wears down the judge with her ceaseless requests. She writes of heaven: “I shall give God no rest until He grants me everything I want!” Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Ahern describes Therese’s heaven as participation and deification: “Heaven, she saw clearly, is not eternal rest but eternal life, a life that is utterly full, without end and without beginning, for it is the very Life of God, the Life into which Jesus will draw all in His Resurrection.” Maurice, Therese’s spiritual brother, pondered unity with God: “This love of God for me almost scares me. Nonetheless I hope that confidence will win out and make me give myself completely.” Me too, Maurice.