Tuesday, July 08, 2008

passing over into act

Saint Vincent de Paul (1581-1660), founder of religious communities Spiritual talks given to the Missionary Brothers

"Ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest" There are plenty of people who, wanting to be well-ordered on the surface and filled with beautiful feelings about God within, stop there...; they are satisfied with the sweet colloquies they hold with God in prayer... Don't let us deceive ourselves: our whole task consists in passing over into acts. And so true is this that the apostle, Saint John, tells us that our works are the only thing to accompany us into the next life (Rev 14,13). So let us think this over: never more than in our own day are there many who seem to be virtuous, and indeed are so, but who nevertheless tend towards a way that is easy and gentle rather than to hard-working, straightforward devotion. The Church is like a great harvest in need of laborers - but laborers who work! Nothing is more in keeping with the
Gospel than to draw light and strength for one's soul in prayer, reading and solitude on the one hand, but then to go and distribute this spiritual nourishment to other people. This is to do what our Lord did and, after him, his apostles; it is to unite Martha's task with that of Mary; it is to imitate the dove who digests half the food she has taken and then places the rest with her beak into that of her little ones to feed them. This is what we ought to do, too; this is how we ought to show God by our works how much we love him. Our whole task consists in passing over into act

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