Les Femmes

Our first duty in life is to know, love, and serve God. Called to be soldiers of Christ, our second duty is to save as many souls as possible from the grip of Satan beginning with ourselves and our families. To do that we need training. “Boot Camp for a soldier of Christ requires solitude, silence, prayer, and mortification. Our “drill sergeants,” the saints offer guidance.

St. Gregory’s teaching in the words of St. Thomas Aquinas: To offer sacrifice spiritually to God is to offer Him something that gives Him glory. Now of all goods, the most pleasing that man can offer to God is, undeniably, the salvation of a soul. But everyone must first offer his own soul, according to what is said in Scripture: “If you wish to please God, have pity on your own soul.” When this first sacrifice has been consummated, then will it be permitted us to procure the same joy for others. The more closely a man unites first his own soul, and then that of another, to God, the more acceptable is his sacrifice. But this intimate and generous, as well as humble union, can only be effected by prayer. To apply oneself to a life of prayer, or to lead others to give themselves to it, is, therefore, more pleasing to God than to devote oneself to activity and good works, and lead others to practice these. And so when St. Gregory affirms that the most pleasing sacrifice to God is the salvation of souls, he does not mean by that to give the active life preference over contemplation, but he is only saying that to offer to God one single soul gives Him infinitely more glory and obtains, for ourselves, much more merit that if we gave Him all that is most precious on this earth. [The duty of a soldier of Christ is to fight for souls beginning with his own!]

St. Francis de Sales: [From Introduction to the Devout Life] In ordinary affairs and occupations that do not require strict, earnest attention, you should look at God rather than at them. When they are of such importance as to require your whole attention to do them well, then too you should look from time to time at God, like mariners who to arrive at the port they are bound for look at the sky above them rather than down on the sea on which they sail. Thus God will work with you, in you, and for you, and after your labor consolation will follow.

St. Pius XII: [from the canonization ceremony for Pope St. Pius X] In the profound vision which he had of the Church as a society, Pius X recognized in the Eucharist the power to nourish substantially its interior life, and to raise it high above all other human associations. Only the Eucharist, in which God gives Himself to man, can lay the foundations of a social life worthy of its members, cemented by love more than by authority, rich in its works and aimed at the perfection of individuals: a life, that is, “hidden with Christ in God.” St. Pius X had a deep devotion to Mary, our 12-star general and said of her, “The Virgin will never cease to help us in our trials, and to carry on the battle fought by her since her conception, so that every day we may repeat: ‘Today she again crushed the head of the serpent’.” Let us use Lent to become braver soldiers in battle!

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