March 25, 2004

Rev. P.J. Michel, S.J. Excerpt
How frequently, fearing the labor we encounter in fighting against our evil inclinations, we ask God to free us from them, but it would seem that the conditions are that He is to do all and it is to cost us nothing. We aspire to the miracle performed for a St. Paul. It sems as though we said: 'If this inclination be displeasing to God, why does He not deliver me from it? Why does He not change the feelings of my heart? He has changed others in a moment." Waiting for this miracle to be performed in our favor, we, meanwhile, do nothing ourselves, and do not heed the voice of God whispering to our soul. Such dispositions, as you must see, are not apt to draw down upon us the mercy of God. Whosoever expects to serve God without doing violence to himself, contradicts the words of Jesus Christ.

Others, again, are free from such foolish presumption, and are kept back in the path of virtue fromtheir over-anxiety about their difficulties, and from their deep conviction that they can in nothing obtain merit; their whole mind is absorbed by this, and their only petition to God is to change their state. They hesitate to follow the lights and pious inclinations which God gives them, because not finding in themselves the particular graces which they are bent upon obtaining, and which they persist in asking for, they fear they are deceive...Did they only profit by those graces, although not such as they asked for, they would soon obtain what they desire, but which they cannot expect so long as they resist God.

It is always from want of instruction, or from inattention to that which we have received, that we are led to form unreasonable expectations...There is no doubt that the Almighty can perform miracles, but He has promised them to no one. Therefore have we no reasonable right to expect them, either to help us in our wants or to guide us in our actions.

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