Monday, October 28, 2013

I thought I toiled in vain

"Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, Yet my reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God."

-Isaiah 49:4


The following is an excerpt from the book, Jesus King of Love, by Fr. Mateo Crawly-Boevey (1970). If you believe that your work has not been crowned with success and the lack of apparent progress in what are you are doing or in what you hoped to do is not panning out the way you anticipated, please take a few minutes and read the following excerpt:

The spirit of faith:

Opposition has always been and ever will be the divine seal upon all our works. Such contradictions come only when God wills that they should and last only as long as He permits. Such storms have never ruined a work dear to God when the thoughts of the apostle were inspired by a great spirit of faith. We must confess with sorrow that this spirit is sometimes greatly wanting. It is not our lack of money or human support that many excellent works have no real life. So the apostles of Enthronement should carefully avoid attributing an exaggerated importance to wealth and high patronage. In our work, money and influence are not all. Relegate them to the background. Jesus will provide. When the glory and the love of the Sacred Heart are at stake, I beg of you, do not weigh the cost in money only. The saints never triumphed in this way.

Our Lord said to St. Margaret Mary, “I will reign in spite of My enemies.” This “in spite of” has given courage to many inexperienced and timid apostles who [once] believed too much in the power of Satan and his followers. The power of the wicked comes from the power of the good. The issue of the fight mostly depends on fidelity of our Lord’s friends. “O you of little faith,” Jesus said to His apostles. He might well say the same to those who tremble when menaced by the enemy.

It is the lack of faith that makes us long to see our work crowned as quickly as possible with striking and brilliant success and to desire that it should be known and published abroad that these grand results are to be attributed to us.

It is a lack of faith to expect to reap at eventide what we sowed at dawn and to seek for admiration and applause whole professing purity of intention. Dear apostles, ask Jesus for a great and living faith that you may not betray his confidence, for He expects many victories from your spirit of faith.

I firmly believe that there is no such thing as failure in good works when they are undertaken and carried out by a true apostle. If by failure we mean the ruin of our own plans, however good, then there may be and even ought to be failure. God would not be what He is if He had promised to set His seal on any wild idea of ours, however honest and honorable our intentions may have been. If, however, my only purpose is the glory of God, I will not mind being disappointed in my projects. By upsetting them, God will not destroy the true spiritual results of my apostolate. The King of Love will be glorified and that is enough for me. The failure was mine and only apparent; the victory was His, a real, effective and complete one. Blessed be Jesus, the true Victor! I have come out of that combat humble and wounded. He has come out with palms and laurel wreaths. Praised be forever His Most Sacred Heart.

It is the lack of faith to be easily discouraged. Difficulties are so indispensible to divine works that if there were none we should have to invent or provoke them in order to ensure the victory. We forget that Jesus does his best work in times of tribulation provided we believe that He is faithful and all powerful. During the early persecutions, bishops, priests, and faithful were put to death by the thousands. The persecutors sought to destroy the infant Church. They might have succeeded had those early Christians reasoned as we do and taken too much thought for the morrow, saying in their dejection, “If we die who will care for souls and for the altars? God has forgotten us. Woe to us! Woe to the Church!” But they did not speak thus, they died with a hymn of victory upon their lips. If we could only believe as they did in the Savior’s affirmation, “I have overcome the world,” what miracles we should work in spite of exterior obstacles, and our own incapacity and failings. Man has changed into means of communication even the greatest of obstacles, such as the sea, the air, and the mountains. How much more should our faith invent means of turning every difficulty to the glory of God. If we have labored for many a weary day and night without making any apparent progress in our works, we must humbly acknowledge this is because of our sins, and launch out into the deep with immense faith letting down our nets in the name of our Lord…

Believe in the loyalty of the Heart of Jesus. He may well treat you as He did the woman of Canaan, making you ask and suffer many times to test you, but His Heart cannot deceive nor be deceived. Knock once again and He will open to you. God has His own times. Let us hasten the coming of the hour of grace and mercy by believing with invincible faith. Do not stand arguing like St. Thomas, “Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed,” for they are the only true apostles and they alone will one day experience that the word of the Lord shall not pass and that His Heart, the fountain of mercy, is divinely faithful. Say to Him humbly again and again, “Jesus, I believe, but increase my faith.”