Thought for the Day – 16 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
I Am Not Able
“Whenever we feel called upon to make some sacrifice for Jesus or, to form some good resolution, how often do we cry: “I am not able!” It may be a question of praying more fervently, of performing some mortification or, of helping our neighbour spiritually or materially. Or perhaps, it is a matter of saying a few words of apology or, of encouragement to our neighbour, whom we have previously treated with coldness and selfishness. Or. it may be something entirely more generous which is demanded; it may be that God is inviting us to renounce ourselves completely and to dedicate ourselves to Him. Naturally, this requires sacrifice and great generosity of heart. But we say to Jesus when He calls us: “I cannot, it is too difficult!” And yet, the Lord says: “You shall make and keep yourselves holy because, I am holy” (Lev 11:44). “You, therefore, are to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48). We must not refuse God, Who became man for us in his love and mercy and shed His blood for our redemption!”
Thought for the Day – 5 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
I Am Not Able
“Often, when the violence of our passions threatens to overcome all our powers of resistance, we are tempted to say: “Lord, I am not able; I cannot go any further. Why are You not helping me? Why have you abandoned me?” This is a trick of the devil, to make us give up the fight, to make us believe, that God has deserted us and that we must, inevitably, give into temptation!
This is the last stratagem of the devil, when he sees that he cannot persuade us in any other manner. But, the Lord addresses to us, the reproof which he addressed to St Peter, who, when walking on the water, doubted for an instant and then, felt himself going under. “O thou of little faith, why did thou doubt?” (Mt 14:31). In such a situation, we must strengthen our faith, our love and our dedication to Jesus Christ. Then, the Lord will extend His helping hand to us, as He did to Peter. He will give us the spiritual tranquillity, which only grace and Christian fortitude can offer.
Let us recall how this happened in the temptations in our past life. When we were strong and generous with Jesus, we implored His help with faith and perseverance and emerged victorious from the fray. Then, we experienced the heavenly joy which only God can give. Why can we not always do the same? We must never say: “I am not able!” We are poor and weak but, with the grace of God, we can overcome all obstacles. As St Paul says, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).”