| The Master's Wish
| Staying Loyal
| The Blessed Virgin's Fidelity
| Fruits of Faithfulness
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord
our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your
heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words
which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and shall teach
them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in
your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when
you rise. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall
be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts
of your house and on your gates." (Deut 6:4-9)
"My brothers, we are
here not to be successful, but to be faithful." (Mother Teresa of Calcutta,
to Priests in Rome)
"God awaits you. So
wherever you are, you must commit yourself to imitating him and uniting
yourself to him, cheerfully, lovingly, keenly, though circumstances might
require you--even permanently-to go against the grain.
God awaits you--and
needs you to be faithful." (Bl Josemaria Escriva, The Forge)
"I have no greater
cause for thankfulness, than when I hear that my children are following
the way of truth." (III Jn 1:4)
"Hear my people, and
I will admonish you; O Israel, will you not hear me? There shall be no
strange god among you nor shall you worship any alien god. I, the Lord,
am your God who led you forth from the land of Egypt; open wide your mouth
and I will fill it.
"But my people heard
not my voice, and Israel obeyed me not; so I gave them up to the hardness
of their hearts; they walked according to their own counsels. If only my
people would hear me, and Israel walk my ways, quicly would I humble their
enemies; against their foes I would turn my hand." (Ps 80:9-15)
"Thus says the Lord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: 'I am the Lord your God who teacahes
you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go. O that you had hearkened
to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your
righteousness like the waves of the sea; your offspring would have been
like the sand, and your descendants like its grains; their name would never
be cut off or destroyed from before me." (Is 48:17-19)
"This is how one should
regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy." (I
"This is the written
will of God for us." (Mother Teresa of Calcutta, on the Constitution of
the Order she founded)
"Have you seen how water
is stored in reservoirs against times of drought? In the same way, to achieve
the even character that you need in times of dificulty, you have to store
up cheerfulness, clear insights and the light which the Lord sends you."
(Bl Josemaria Escriva, Furrow, 788)
"It is a moving testimony
of what we also call Christian youthfulness of spirit and it consists in
always remaining faithful to the love of God. Union with God makes us grow
each day in that youthfulness. On the other hand, the things that separate
us from God--sin and its consequences--is the path to interior ageing,
paralysis and slowness to know and live the constant novelty of love for
God, which has been revealed to us in Christ." (John Paul II, to the youth,
Argentina, 11 Apr 1987)
"You want to know on
what our faithfulness is founded? I would say, in broad outline, that it
is based on loving God, which makes us overcome all kinds of obstacles:
selfishness, pride, tiredness, impatience ... A man in love tramples on
his own self. He is aware that even when he is loving with all his soul,
he isn't yet loving enough." (Bl Josemaria Escriva, Furrow, 532)
Blessed Virgin's Fidelity
"Among the many titles
that the filial love of Christians has attributed to the Blessed Virgin
through the centuries, there is one with a most profound meaning: Virgo
fidelis, Virgin most faithful. What does this fidelity of Mary signify?
What are its dimensions?
"The first dimension
is called the search. Mary was faithful above all when she began
to seek lovingly the deep meaning of God's design in Her and for the world.
'Quomodo fiet?--How shall this come about?' she asked the Angel
of the Annunciation. Already in the Old Testament the meaning of this search
is embodied in an expression of rare beauty and extraordinary spiritual
content: 'seek the Lord's face'. There should be no fidelity were there
to be absent in its source this burning, patient and generous search; were
there to be lacking in man's heart a question for which only God has the
answer--or better-for which God is the only answer.
"The second dimension
of fidelity is called welcome, acceptance. The 'quomodo fiet'
becomes, on Mary's lips, a 'fiat'. Let it be done; I am ready; I
accept. This is the crucial moment of fidelity, the moment in which man
sees that he will never totally comprehend the 'how'; that in God's design
there are more mysterious zones than evident ones; that however much he
tries, he will never come to comprehend everything. It is then that man
accepts the mystery and gives it a place in his heart, just as 'Mary conserved
all these things, pondering them in her heart' (Lk 2:19; cf Lk 3:15). It
is the moment in which man abandons himself to the mystery, not with the
resignation of someone who surrenders to an enigma, an absurdity, but rather
with the the availability of one who opens himself to be inhabited by something--by
Someone!-- greater than his own heart. That acceptance is fulfilled definitively
by faith, which is the whole being's adhesion to the mystery being revealed.
is the third dimension of fidelity. To live according to one's belief.
To adjust one's life to the object of one's adhesion. To accept misunderstanding
and persecution rather than to permit ruptures between one's life and one's
belief. This is coherence. It is here, perhaps, where one finds the most
intimate core of fidelity.
"But all fidelity
must pass through the most demanding test--that of duration. Hence, the
fourth dimension of fidelity is constancy. It is easy to be coherent
for one day or some days. It is both difficult and important to be coherent
for one's whole life. It is easy to be coherent at the hour of praise,
difficult to be so at the hour of trial. Only a coherence that lasts for
one's whole life can be called fidelity. Mary's 'fiat' at the Annunciation
finds its fullness in the silent 'fiat' that she repeats at the
foot of the Cross. To be faithful is not betraying in darkness what one
has accepted in the open." (John Paul II, Discourse in Mexico, 26 January
"Lord, to whom shall we
go? Thou hast words of eternal life and we have believed and have known,
that thou art the Christ, the Son of God." (Jn 6:70)
"Try to be very faithful,
my children. When the years pass, you will not believe what you have lived.
It will seem that you have been dreaming. How many good and great and wonderful
things you are going to see! ... I can assure you that you will be faithful
even though at times you will have to suffer. Besides, I promise you heaven.
If you are faithful, that is enough, even though at times there is sorrow.
If some time you hit a slump, take courage and don't worry. Rest, obey
the doctor, eat, sleep, and don't make me suffer, because I love you a
lot and I suffer, not for myself but for Jesus. Be faithful, my children."
(Bl Josemaria Escriva)
"My children, from
this conversation we're now holding, you'd have to draw the most firm resolution
of being more faithful, more loyal by the day. Fall more in love each day,
be more madly in love each day. Some people said I was crazy, and they
were right. I still am, and I want to die this way. And you, my child,
are you crazy?" (Bl Josemaria Escriva)