|Fr. Jean-Baptiste Chautard, O.C.S.O|
Taken from the book: "The Soul of the Apostolate"
"If the interior life did nothing more than procure for us the advantage of realizing our incessant danger, it would already be contributing very much to our protection against surprises along our way; for to foresee a danger is half the battle in avoiding it. And yet the inner life has an even greater utility than merely this. It becomes, the man engaged in the ministry, a complete set of armor (Eph 6: 11-17). It is a divine armor which permits him not only to resist the temptations and avoid the snares set before him by the devil, but also to sanctify his every act (“and stand in all things perfect)…
[In those still in pursuit of sanctity], even fervent souls, the supernatural life seems to suffer loss after more or less time spent in exterior occupations. Their less perfect hearts, too preoccupied with the good to be done to their neighbor, to absorbed with a compassion (for the woes to be alleviated) that is not nearly Supernatural enough, seem to send up to God flames less pure, darkened with the smoke of numerous imperfections.
God does not punish this weakness by a decrease of His grace, and does not demand a strict account for these failings, provided there is a serious attempt at vigilance and prayer in the midst of action, and that the soul is ready, when its work is done, to return to Him and rest and regain its strength. This habit of constantly beginning over again, which is necessitated by the combination of the active with the interior life, gives joy to His paternal Heart.
Besides in those who really put up a fight, these imperfections become less and less serious and frequent in proportion as the soul learns to return, tirelessly to Christ, whom we will always find ready to say to us: “Come back to Me, poor panting heart, athirst with the length of the course. Woe and find in these living waters the secret of new energy for other journeys. Withdraw thyself a little from the crowd that is unable to offer thee the nourishment required by they exhausted strength. Come apart and rest a little. In the peace and quiet thou shalt enjoy being with me, not only wilt thou soon recapture thy first vigor, but also wilt though learn how to do more work with less expense of strength. Elias, disheartened, discouraged, found his strength renewed in an instant by a certain mysterious bread. Even so, My apostle, in this enviable task of co-redeemer that it has pleased Me to impose upon thee, I offer the the chance, both by My word, which is all life, and by My grace, that is by My Blood, to direct thy spirit once again towards the horizons of eternity and to renew the pact of friendship between thy heart and Mine. Come I will console thee for the sorrows and decptions of the journey. And thou shalt temper once again the steel of thy resolutions in the furnace of My love.
Come to me all you that labor and are heavily burdened and I will refresh you (Matt 9:28)."
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