Thought for the Day – 25 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Word and Example
“There is great power in the spoken word.
It can act like a ray of light upon the mind of a man groping about in the darkness of error.
It can present a moving appeal to a sinner, to return to God.
It can comfort the soul in affliction and in loneliness.
Good example, however, is even more powerful than speech.
At times, it can be irresistible.
A man can remain deaf to good advice but, it is difficult for him, to remain unaffected by the virtuous behaviour and spirit of sacrifice of someone, who is trying to lead him towards goodness.
The sermons of the Saints, were effective, not only because they were inspired by love for God and for souls but, also, because they were reinforced by the holiness of the preachers.
St Augustine was converted by the pleadings and prayers of St Monica but, apart from the grace of God, it was the example of his mother’s sanctity, which made her exhortations so convincing.
It was as much by the example of his untiring zeal, as by the simplicity of his sermons, that the Cure d’Ars converted thousands upon thousands of people.
St Francis de Sales would never have converted so many heretics, if his apostolic personality had not possessed such a quality of supernatural attractiveness.
Let us do as much good as we can by means of speech whenever the opportunity arises but, above all, let us make sure, that our lives reflect faithfully, the principles which we proclaim.
This is the only way in which we shall be able to lead our fellow-men to God.”